5 precepts. Alcohol?

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AlexMcLeod
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by AlexMcLeod »

You are perhaps going about this the wrong way. If you purify the mind and body enough, you will no longer desire alcohol or violating the other precepts. Alternatively, if you really like the taste of alcohol, purification of the body can also lead to the inability to become intoxicated.
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DGA
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by DGA »

boda wrote:I've not exaggerated, in fact the story is much more severe in its tragity than I've mentioned.
Yes, I'm sure it's a horrible story, but you're persistently missing the point. Insisting as you do that a glass of wine with dinner, for example, leads necessarily to drinking oneself to death is simply hyperbole. If you want to convince anyone but yourself, you may wish to dial that hyperbole back.

As I asked before, can you identify anyone in any of the threads I posted above who advocates for Zen teachers to drink themselves to death?
We all know how alcohol can destroy lives. I know that "realized masters" are not immune to that potential destruction.
More to the point, the disease of alcoholism can and does destroy lives. It's a brutal fact. Who is advocating for alcoholism in any of these discussions, shel?

By analogy: overeating is a cause of many premature deaths and serious health problems. Would you advise people to avoid becoming obese by simply not eating at all, ever, and point to the example of a 20th century Zen teacher who ate herself into a diabetic coma for evidence?

:cheers:

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Kaccāni
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by Kaccāni »

AlexMcLeod wrote:You are perhaps going about this the wrong way. If you purify the mind and body enough, you will no longer desire alcohol or violating the other precepts. Alternatively, if you really like the taste of alcohol, purification of the body can also lead to the inability to become intoxicated.
Both are missing the point. You don't need to have desire for drinking alcohol to find yourself in an environment where "going with the flow" will have you end up with a glass of wine or two. Also, purifying your body won't change what alcohol does to your cells as little as it will change your need to eat. Maybe you'll handle some mental side effects of it differently, within limits where that is still possible.

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Kc
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AlexMcLeod
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by AlexMcLeod »

Kaccāni wrote:
AlexMcLeod wrote:You are perhaps going about this the wrong way. If you purify the mind and body enough, you will no longer desire alcohol or violating the other precepts. Alternatively, if you really like the taste of alcohol, purification of the body can also lead to the inability to become intoxicated.
Both are missing the point. You don't need to have desire for drinking alcohol to find yourself in an environment where "going with the flow" will have you end up with a glass of wine or two. Also, purifying your body won't change what alcohol does to your cells as little as it will change your need to eat. Maybe you'll handle some mental side effects of it differently, within limits where that is still possible.

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Kc
I think you misunderstood me. It is highly unlikely that I will ever drink alcohol, considering that even the smell of it is disgusting to me. And there are ways to not require food any longer.
Relax! Smile From The Heart!
There is a difference between the Mundane and the Transcendental. If you purposefully confuse them, I will ignore you, you nihilist.
There is no Emotion, there is Peace. There is no Ignorance, there is Knowledge. There is no Passion, there is Serenity. There is no Death, there is the Force.

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Kaccāni
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by Kaccāni »

AlexMcLeod wrote:I think you misunderstood me.
Probably.

And there are ways to not require food any longer.
Ah, yes. If one is ok with the consequences.

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Kc
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boda
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by boda »

My point that you're trying to dismiss as hyperbole, DGA, is that the basis of your argument is an appeal to authority, and I've shown, and you may have helped with your Kennett example, assuming lifestyle was a significant cause for her type 2 diabetes, that this authority of "realized master" is unreliable concerning the subject matter. And we haven't even touched iconic examples like Trungpa.

Avoiding intoxicants is a training rule for good reason. It's not a sin to break the rules, it just means you're not training as well as you could. Or as I've mentioned it doesn't matter, because the goal of the path is nothing more than just walking the path and deriving the meaning and purpose it offers.

smcj
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by smcj »

Ed1980 wrote:Thanks. And cheers :cheers:

I read a Vajrasattva practice text pdf I downloaded which says about abstaining from actions for a minute, an hour or a day. Something like that. For as long as possible. So this gave me the impression there is some possible flexibility. That I won't "go to hell" if I took the 5 precepts in the morning and then found myself with a glass in my hand when spontaneously meeting friends for dinner.
I don't think that Vajrasattva pdf should be read that way. Normally one of the "four opponent powers" associated with Vajrasattva practice is the resolve to not repeat a negativity. In all likelihood the teaching was giving the practitioner the option to make temporary resolutions instead of demanding complete cessation of a particular negative act. You wouldn't want a person to think "Well, I can't give that action completely so I might as well not do the meditation on Vajrsattva."

If you take a precept for a day you should keep it for the day. If you think it doesn't matter if you break it there's no point in taking it to begin with. In no small part taking a precept is meant to give you a strength and stability of mind to not be subject to situational ethics and whims.
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2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

Simon E.
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by Simon E. »

I think it is worth pointing out that there are many committed and sincere practitioners of Buddhadharma for whom 'the precepts' do not feature in any overt way at all.

Just sayin'.
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vinegar
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by vinegar »

Ed1980 wrote:Is it cheating just to recite 4 precepts?
No, some people take only 4 out of the 5 layperson vows, its ok.

However, alcohol is a class 1 carcinogen meaning the mechanisms for its cancer formation and promotion is well understood.

So it would be a serious challenge for a person to claim that they have some level of renunciation or view renunciation highly while still be willing to destroy their body on a daily basis.

Similar to how it would be very difficult for someone who smokes to claim that they have shamata or dhyana and are free from attachment to sense objects.

pael
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by pael »

How about tsog and 5 precepts? I thought Dharma Centers use alcohol in open for all tsogs.
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Simon E.
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by Simon E. »

vinegar wrote:
Ed1980 wrote:Is it cheating just to recite 4 precepts?
No, some people take only 4 out of the 5 layperson vows, its ok.

However, alcohol is a class 1 carcinogen meaning the mechanisms for its cancer formation and promotion is well understood.

So it would be a serious challenge for a person to claim that they have some level of renunciation or view renunciation highly while still be willing to destroy their body on a daily basis.

Similar to how it would be very difficult for someone who smokes to claim that they have shamata or dhyana and are free from attachment to sense objects.
One of the most obviously realised Buddhist teachers I have ever met smoked and drank freely. He did not expect us to emulate him however.He he lived constantly in a state of absorption.
He did not 'break the precepts' because he did not observe them nor did he teach them.
Not all Buddhist traditions do.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

Simon E.
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by Simon E. »

pael wrote:How about tsog and 5 precepts? I thought Dharma Centers use alcohol in open for all tsogs.
Many do.
Not all. Some substitute fruit juice or something similarly non-alcoholic.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

vinegar
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by vinegar »

Simon E. wrote:he lived constantly in a state of absorption.
He did not 'break the precepts' because he did not observe them nor did he teach them.
Not all Buddhist traditions do.
All buddhist systems assert and understand that vows are the basis for creating pathway-minds to nirvana etc

If you don't keep your vows you can't even get basic single-pointed concentration, let alone anything meaningful

If you drink alcohol frequently, you can't meditate. It's impossible for someone who has single-pointed concentration to have attachment to sense objects such as food. For the good meditators, it's difficult to have even basic desire for them, let alone attachment.

Rakz
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by Rakz »

Simon E. wrote:
vinegar wrote:
Ed1980 wrote:Is it cheating just to recite 4 precepts?
No, some people take only 4 out of the 5 layperson vows, its ok.

However, alcohol is a class 1 carcinogen meaning the mechanisms for its cancer formation and promotion is well understood.

So it would be a serious challenge for a person to claim that they have some level of renunciation or view renunciation highly while still be willing to destroy their body on a daily basis.

Similar to how it would be very difficult for someone who smokes to claim that they have shamata or dhyana and are free from attachment to sense objects.
One of the most obviously realised Buddhist teachers I have ever met smoked and drank freely. He did not expect us to emulate him however.He he lived constantly in a state of absorption.
He did not 'break the precepts' because he did not observe them nor did he teach them.
Not all Buddhist traditions do.
If he was in a "constant state of absorption" why was there any need to drink alcohol in the first place?

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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by Norwegian »

Rakz wrote:
Simon E. wrote:
vinegar wrote:
No, some people take only 4 out of the 5 layperson vows, its ok.

However, alcohol is a class 1 carcinogen meaning the mechanisms for its cancer formation and promotion is well understood.

So it would be a serious challenge for a person to claim that they have some level of renunciation or view renunciation highly while still be willing to destroy their body on a daily basis.

Similar to how it would be very difficult for someone who smokes to claim that they have shamata or dhyana and are free from attachment to sense objects.
One of the most obviously realised Buddhist teachers I have ever met smoked and drank freely. He did not expect us to emulate him however.He he lived constantly in a state of absorption.
He did not 'break the precepts' because he did not observe them nor did he teach them.
Not all Buddhist traditions do.
If he was in a "constant state of absorption" why was there any need to drink alcohol in the first place?
Who are talking about a "need" to drink alcohol? One can enjoy things, like food, alcohol, etc. all kinds of various things, without there having to be a "need" for it, without any problems.

Enjoyment is not a problem. Attachment is.

To argue against these things as above, is an attitude found in Hinayana, not Vajrayana.
"The Guru is the Buddha, the Guru is the Dharma,
The Guru is the Sangha too,
The Guru is Śrī Heruka.
The All-Creating King is the Guru."

-- The Secret Assembly Tantra

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dzogchungpa
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by dzogchungpa »

There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

Simon E.
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by Simon E. »

Rakz wrote:
Simon E. wrote:
vinegar wrote:
No, some people take only 4 out of the 5 layperson vows, its ok.

However, alcohol is a class 1 carcinogen meaning the mechanisms for its cancer formation and promotion is well understood.

So it would be a serious challenge for a person to claim that they have some level of renunciation or view renunciation highly while still be willing to destroy their body on a daily basis.

Similar to how it would be very difficult for someone who smokes to claim that they have shamata or dhyana and are free from attachment to sense objects.
One of the most obviously realised Buddhist teachers I have ever met smoked and drank freely. He did not expect us to emulate him however.He he lived constantly in a state of absorption.
He did not 'break the precepts' because he did not observe them nor did he teach them.
Not all Buddhist traditions do.
If he was in a "constant state of absorption" why was there any need to drink alcohol in the first place?
No idea. I didn't ask him. Nor did I care. His obvious state of absorption made that pretty redundant.
I think the main point here is the fact that he neither observed the precepts nor required his students to. That is a common situation in the world of Vajrayana.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

boda
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by boda »

It's a common situation in every religion

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Quay
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by Quay »

I think many good things have been said already on this topic. To them I hope to add that in different traditions the precepts are translated somewhat differently and that difference can be enormous in any individual practitioner's path. For instance:

"Do not take any intoxicants"

is very different if you can see it from

"Do not become intoxicated."

The former is a flat prohibition, the latter is a command to mindfulness under all circumstances including when one takes a drink. If you can't keep the latter the former is often the best. They're both to aid the practitioner in developing discipline and other necessary qualities. But it really comes down to each person and their particular situation.
"Knowledge is as infinite as the stars in the sky;
There is no end to all the subjects one could study.
It is better to grasp straight away their very essence--
The unchanging fortress of the Dharmakaya."

– Longchenpa.

smcj
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by smcj »

Quay wrote:I think many good things have been said already on this topic. To them I hope to add that in different traditions the precepts are translated somewhat differently and that difference can be enormous in any individual practitioner's path. For instance:

"Do not take any intoxicants"

is very different if you can see it from

"Do not become intoxicated."

The former is a flat prohibition, the latter is a command to mindfulness under all circumstances including when one takes a drink. If you can't keep the latter the former is often the best. They're both to aid the practitioner in developing discipline and other necessary qualities. But it really comes down to each person and their particular situation.
Do you know of a tradition that uses the latter definition that isn't just a modern reinterpretation?
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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