5 precepts

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ford_truckin
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5 precepts

Post by ford_truckin » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:41 am

How important are the five precepts to you and do you try your best to uphold them in your daily lives?

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: 5 precepts

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:51 am

Very and yes, though repentance goes hand in hand.
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Re: 5 precepts

Post by shaunc » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:53 am

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:51 am
Very and yes, though repentance goes hand in hand.
I'd give a pretty similar answer.

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Re: 5 precepts

Post by Sentient Light » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:08 pm

Yes, to the best of my ability given my conditions and circumstances, with extra attention paid on the Upavasatha/zhai/chay observations.
:buddha1: Nam mô A di đà Phật :buddha1:
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Re: 5 precepts

Post by Grigoris » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:58 pm

I try, and fail (regularly), to keep the five precepts.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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KathyLauren
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Re: 5 precepts

Post by KathyLauren » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:08 pm

I think they are quite important. I do my best to keep them. As others have said, I fail frequently.

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well wisher
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Re: 5 precepts

Post by well wisher » Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:36 pm

My belief is that the 5 precepts are very important guidelines and measuring stick to measure if actions are "safe" and righteous or not.

Also there are various levels and "details" on each precept itself, and I feel the highest levels can only be pratically pursued by monks (who undertakes hundereds more percepts in finer details) and not us laypersons, like the higher mountain peaks of everest can only be scaled who is truly prepared.

For me, the most "basic" levels of precepts I can easily abide by are:
not to intentionally kill any fellow humans who do not intend to kill me,
not to mug and rob other people directly,
no direct sexually raping others,
not to intentionally lie and insult to others if there is no benefits, (this is a real toughy)
and not to intentionally overindulge on alcholic drink or drugs to the point where I lose self control and awareness.

This human world have a "blanacing" and mirror retribution justice effect and law taken placein the form of karma,
seems like [harmful and selfish] acts will eventually reflect back to you. Time is just the big unknown variable haha.
The precepts can help guide one to avoid negative consequnces.

But it is also important to remember "attachment" and "aversion' concepts and the "middle way" which the great Shakyamuni advises, I think those applies to the 5 precepts as well, not to become too attached to the precepts.
Precept = "a general rule intended to regulate behavior or thought", like a guideline, they are not strict laws or commandments per se.

Maybe one who is truly free from fetters and all forms of attachments may be exempt from the karma retribution, if the intention and acts are truly noble and benevelovent?

For example, my guess of an exception might be that some butchers serving tiebetian monks might temporaily break the kill/lives precept to serve animal meats, but maybe it is still noble because the great monks intend to deliver those animals to higher realms of rebirths or even buddahs purelands and not stuck on animal realms. In that way maybe those great monks can help absolve the negative consequnce and guilts for the butchers?
(You might need to consult some real tiebtian monks themslevs for the true answer haha, i am not one myself, that is just my guess).
Thanks,

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Re: 5 precepts

Post by well wisher » Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:41 pm

Any my own opinions is that the "Killing" precept is the most dangerous and must be tread with the most caution.

Even if you don't believe in karma and after-life , any sane person with some common sense see easily how breaking the precept at the most basic level will lead to immediate bad consequence in the form of retributive justice.

For the most basic direct examples:
if you try to kill another live innoncent person who has done nothing wrong , watch that other person will try to kill you back in self defesne, or run away and report you to the cops to get you in jail-hell, or get excueted by the victim's family vendetta right away, or you will be "on-the-run" hell for the rest of your life, the bad possibilities are endless .... etc.
If you steal try to mug another person right in front of their face, watch right away how that other person will hit you back in self-defense, or report you to the cops to lead you into jail-hell right away. Even if that victim let you steal the first time, the same vitcim will not be so dumb the next time, and might be better prepared to KILL or physically harm to subdue you the next time in self-defense if you try to mug that same victim next time.
If you try to rape another person, similiar deal as the above 2, you are blantly disrepecting other people's body.
If you blantly lie in front of other people, others people will trust you less going foward; if you swear curse offsensive words directly at other people without any good reason, you might be viewed as lacking intelligence or self control.
If you abuse alchol or drugs too much well.... you know you can kill yourself if overdose if too much, right? Science and tons of news stories has already proven that.

But of course, I totally agree that sincere penance will achieve amazing results, if you are aware you done a wrongful act in relation to breaking the precept. The same applies to this world!

And the history of Shakyamuni Buddah himself proves that "severe asceticism is no good either (it almost lead him to his own death!), so taking the precepts too strictly would not be wise.
Do not let the precepts themselves become jaillike bondages!

I feel the 4 noble truths for the grand goal of ending suffering for all sentient beings should take higher precendence than the 5 precept guides.
I wish all sentinnt beings well! May all of us get rid of sufferings in due time!
Thanks,

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Lobsang Chojor
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Re: 5 precepts

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:51 am

well wisher wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:41 pm
Any my own opinions is that the "Killing" precept is the most dangerous and must be tread with the most caution.
Why do you think this?
And the history of Shakyamuni Buddah himself proves that "severe asceticism is no good either (it almost lead him to his own death!), so taking the precepts too strictly would not be wise.
Do not let the precepts themselves become jaillike bondages!

I feel the 4 noble truths for the grand goal of ending suffering for all sentient beings should take higher precendence than the 5 precept guides.
I'm not sure if I see how following the 5 precepts can be extreme asceticism, seen as they are part of the fourth noble truth.
"Morality does not become pure unless darkness is dispelled by the light of wisdom"
  • Aryasura, Paramitasamasa 6.5
ༀ་ཨ་ར་པ་ཙ་ན་དྷཱི༔ Oṃ A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhīḥ

Tenma
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Re: 5 precepts

Post by Tenma » Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:00 am

Lobsang Chojor wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:51 am
well wisher wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:41 pm
Any my own opinions is that the "Killing" precept is the most dangerous and must be tread with the most caution.
Why do you think this?
And the history of Shakyamuni Buddah himself proves that "severe asceticism is no good either (it almost lead him to his own death!), so taking the precepts too strictly would not be wise.
Do not let the precepts themselves become jaillike bondages!

I feel the 4 noble truths for the grand goal of ending suffering for all sentient beings should take higher precendence than the 5 precept guides.
I'm not sure if I see how following the 5 precepts can be extreme asceticism, seen as they are part of the fourth noble truth.
I'm pretty sure he means as in practicing extreme forms of Jainism/Hinduism, especially with starving yourself of everything to prevent killing anything(or at least how Jains do it including with plants), asceticism against sexual thoughts and wants(all violations either way), and so forth. Not just simply following the 5 precepts.

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Re: 5 precepts

Post by well wisher » Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:31 pm

Yes well said Tenma, thank you.
in fact I would say any of the 5 precepts will be impossible to abide by in this world, if too much strict conditions are added on.

What does the old saying goes, devil is in the details (if too much unhelpful excessive details)?

Like "to say the truth all the time for all eternity" - can you 100% guarantee what you say will be true for all times in this world full of imperenance? Then might as well remain mute and not say anything at all in your life, to play it extremely safe regarding speech aspect!

And for the 5th precepts regarding intoxicants: one can argue any form of physical entertainment outside of the mind can be come "intoxicanting" if it reaches the point of uncontrolled.
Now which human will want to live on earth devoid of any form of entertainment and joy? I certainly would not!
I need my internet and computer and android games, and light walking and bike exercise to help me, especially after a stressful day at work in a IT bank job.

Of course I try to take care not to "overdose" on it where I lose self control over it, so bedtime before midnight is very important to me!

Thanks and well wishes to all,

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Re: 5 precepts

Post by Grigoris » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:57 pm

well wisher wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:31 pm
Yes well said Tenma, thank you.
in fact I would say any of the 5 precepts will be impossible to abide by in this world, if too much strict conditions are added on.

What does the old saying goes, devil is in the details (if too much unhelpful excessive details)?

Like "to say the truth all the time for all eternity" - can you 100% guarantee what you say will be true for all times in this world full of imperenance? Then might as well remain mute and not say anything at all in your life, to play it extremely safe regarding speech aspect!

And for the 5th precepts regarding intoxicants: one can argue any form of physical entertainment outside of the mind can be come "intoxicanting" if it reaches the point of uncontrolled.
Now which human will want to live on earth devoid of any form of entertainment and joy? I certainly would not!
I need my internet and computer and android games, and light walking and bike exercise to help me, especially after a stressful day at work in a IT bank job.

Of course I try to take care not to "overdose" on it where I lose self control over it, so bedtime before midnight is very important to me!

Thanks and well wishes to all,
The idea of the vows is to set a goal to work towards. Right now it may seem impossible to you to never lie, but if you don't try to always tell the truth, then chances are you rarely will.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: 5 precepts

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:57 pm

Tenma wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:00 am
I'm pretty sure he means as in practicing extreme forms of Jainism/Hinduism, especially with starving yourself of everything to prevent killing anything(or at least how Jains do it including with plants), asceticism against sexual thoughts and wants(all violations either way), and so forth. Not just simply following the 5 precepts.
As this is a Buddhist forum I'm not really sure why this would be relevant in a discussion on holding the vows.
"Morality does not become pure unless darkness is dispelled by the light of wisdom"
  • Aryasura, Paramitasamasa 6.5
ༀ་ཨ་ར་པ་ཙ་ན་དྷཱི༔ Oṃ A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhīḥ

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Re: 5 precepts

Post by well wisher » Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:48 am

Agreed, steady progression twoards firmer and higher "grounds" on the precepts would be a good goal to work towards then, to elimnate the mind's fetters and desiers for true liberation, one step at it time.
But I still feel one shouldn't aim too high to the point of self-mortizliation.

Also I personally experienced that if one is too hasty to aim too high, it can be very unsettling,
like how for some people, going straight :cold turkey" can feel very harsh.

Thanks for the feedbacks.

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Re: 5 precepts

Post by Tenma » Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:58 am

Lobsang Chojor wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:57 pm
Tenma wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:00 am
I'm pretty sure he means as in practicing extreme forms of Jainism/Hinduism, especially with starving yourself of everything to prevent killing anything(or at least how Jains do it including with plants), asceticism against sexual thoughts and wants(all violations either way), and so forth. Not just simply following the 5 precepts.
As this is a Buddhist forum I'm not really sure why this would be relevant in a discussion on holding the vows.
Just in case. I mean for example, the Buddha himself got into asceticism and learned that it led to nothing at all, just more suffering. So yeah, excessive ways aren't always the best(especially for certain people that may take even simple vows like the one from killing someone way too much into extremes of harming themselves).

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Re: 5 precepts

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:49 am

You didn't mention whether you had formally taken the precepts.
It was many years after taking refuge that I had the opportunity to take the five precepts, from a Rinpoche (lama).
He explained that while one does not have to take the precepts in order to practice the Buddhist teachings,
once a person takes them, they need to try to keep them as best as they can.You can think of this as similar to a marriage vow.
Nobody has to get married, not even to have an intimate partner.
But if you make marriage vows, you really have to keep them.

To completely violate a vow requires four things, and if I recall correctly, they are:
the purposeful intention to break the vow,
delight in having broken the vow (or in the action that breaks the vow)
delight in the result of having broken the vow
an eagerness or willingness to break the vow again.
In some traditions, I think failure to have remorse, or to "confess" this to one's teacher (depending on the nature of the student-teacher relationship)
also constitutes being part of fully breaking a vow.

So, suppose you accidentally run over an animal with your car, and kill it,
if you didn't plan to do this,
if you regret that it happened,
if you deperstely hope it never happens again,
or any of the above, then you haven't actually broken the vow, because your motivation is 99% of what it's about.
But, for the other 1%, since the vast interconnectedness of all phenomena brought you and the animal together at the meeting point of the car's tire,
it's a good idea to intentionally perform some positive action and dedicate the merit to that poor animal.

I'll add that the precepts have a lot of power, especially when they carry a lot of "blessings" from a lineage.
Before taking the vows, I had a very serious alcohol addiction problem for many years.
After taking the vows, I lost all craving for alcohol, and when I started to drink some wine a few years later, during a very sad emotional state,
which probably should have triggered some kind of drinking binge or whatever,
I didn't like the wine. It was a very "fine" wine, very good quality. I could taste that. But the slight feeling of alcohol, I was repulsed by it.
I had no desire whatsoever for even another taste.

The precept against intoxicants, as it was explained to me, is a sort of "branch precept", there to guard the previous four.
At one time, a monk was seduced by some kind of demon disguised as a beautiful woman, who got the monk drunk, and was therefore able to
persuade him to steal a goat, kill it, and make love to her, in other words, to break his other precepts.

I mentioned to my teacher that, well, at least he didn't get so drunk as to mix things up, kill the woman, and have sex with the goat!

(My teacher wasn't amused)
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Re: 5 precepts

Post by well wisher » Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:07 pm

For me, yes I have taken the precepts since I was very young around age 3. by my older relatives (my father said it was my grandma who took me to a buddhist temple, but maybe it was my father himeslf).

When I was younger I did not know any better about the precepts, so along that way yes I did commit many "violdations" of the pecepts if you are talking about it in the strictest.
But never fully break them in such a way that I still feell remorse (especially if I intend to do so), and I do try to repent once I realize I have done some wrong.

Anyways obsession on the remorse part is also dangerous as it can lead to depression and obssesive-compulsive disorders, like I personally experienced several years ago.

Anyways, I think thats why the "eight noble paths" are so important one the path to follow the precepts to correct one's own action and eliminate bad behaviours. Especially the intention and awareness parts.

And as I grow up I encounter much more "challenges", so I try to reason it by putting "conditionals" and "loopholes" around it. And I become very furstrated at the lack of specific details in the precepts themselves.

(Like the kill precept: does the Buddah say it includes animal or not? Maybe at the highest level, one tries to avoid killing ANY sentient beings intentionally? Or permits killing lower realms beings to force them rebirth into higher realms? .... etc. )
It is so very open to ones own interperations, so I feel there are so many different levels to it.

Anwyas, in my opion, if one is too strict about the precept, ones ability to interact with this one will become very limited like jail bondages.
Like I will need to quit my job now if i am forced to follow the "speech" precept prefectly, and I have observed many of my co-workers violate it many times themsleves too: (the need to guess due to time pressure, the need to protect oneself agianst picky bosses judgement to avoid getting fired, the need to curse others to vent furstrations, .... etc.). But not in the strictest sense of course.

So the practicailty of the precept themselves is also very important, in regards to one's own current stage in life. At least in my opinion.

Thanks all,

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Re: 5 precepts

Post by ford_truckin » Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:48 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:49 am
You didn't mention whether you had formally taken the precepts.
It was many years after taking refuge that I had the opportunity to take the five precepts, from a Rinpoche (lama).
He explained that while one does not have to take the precepts in order to practice the Buddhist teachings,
once a person takes them, they need to try to keep them as best as they can.You can think of this as similar to a marriage vow.
Nobody has to get married, not even to have an intimate partner.
But if you make marriage vows, you really have to keep them.

To completely violate a vow requires four things, and if I recall correctly, they are:
the purposeful intention to break the vow,
delight in having broken the vow (or in the action that breaks the vow)
delight in the result of having broken the vow
an eagerness or willingness to break the vow again.
In some traditions, I think failure to have remorse, or to "confess" this to one's teacher (depending on the nature of the student-teacher relationship)
also constitutes being part of fully breaking a vow.

So, suppose you accidentally run over an animal with your car, and kill it,
if you didn't plan to do this,
if you regret that it happened,
if you deperstely hope it never happens again,
or any of the above, then you haven't actually broken the vow, because your motivation is 99% of what it's about.
But, for the other 1%, since the vast interconnectedness of all phenomena brought you and the animal together at the meeting point of the car's tire,
it's a good idea to intentionally perform some positive action and dedicate the merit to that poor animal.

I'll add that the precepts have a lot of power, especially when they carry a lot of "blessings" from a lineage.
Before taking the vows, I had a very serious alcohol addiction problem for many years.
After taking the vows, I lost all craving for alcohol, and when I started to drink some wine a few years later, during a very sad emotional state,
which probably should have triggered some kind of drinking binge or whatever,
I didn't like the wine. It was a very "fine" wine, very good quality. I could taste that. But the slight feeling of alcohol, I was repulsed by it.
I had no desire whatsoever for even another taste.

The precept against intoxicants, as it was explained to me, is a sort of "branch precept", there to guard the previous four.
At one time, a monk was seduced by some kind of demon disguised as a beautiful woman, who got the monk drunk, and was therefore able to
persuade him to steal a goat, kill it, and make love to her, in other words, to break his other precepts.

I mentioned to my teacher that, well, at least he didn't get so drunk as to mix things up, kill the woman, and have sex with the goat!

(My teacher wasn't amused)
.
.
.
Thanks for that. Last bit made me laugh out loud.

well wisher
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Re: 5 precepts

Post by well wisher » Sat Nov 24, 2018 2:09 am

Below is just a theory, feel free to read it or ignore it or comment on it:

The finer details on the precepts were left out to ensure maximum inclusivity!
There is no enternal condemation, no enternal hell in true buddhism.
Buddhists should not condemn any occupation or job in the world, but instead try to seek ways to improve it so it has less suffering.
But not to get addicted any jobs and roles itself of course, in this world of impernance.

Noble Goal derivied from the 4 noble truths: reduce then eliminate sufferings for all sentient beings.
Method: Use the 5 precepts as safety measuing tape, especially when you are unsure if you action will cause suffering or not.
But do not worship, and do not get addicted to using the tape! The safety tape is NOT the goal!
Unlimted accumlation of positive karma for oneself is NOT the goal!
Discard the tape when needed, when you know of ways will bring about reduction in suffering.

Best scenarios are win-win solutions: reduction in suffering for yourself and others too.
But most importantly ask others first if you are know your actions will have immediate direct impact to others, to ensure others will not suffer from your action.

Yes, sticer Adherence to the 5 precepts brings may bring about better karmas and benefits to ones own life, like possibly more safety, longer life, more wealth, healthier bodies, , better speech abilites , healthier mindset... etc.
But buddists should not get addicted and too attached and addicted to the "benefit" concept itself!
Because even "benefit" and good karmas itself is imperanent in this world!
Otherwise it leads directly back to the road of exteme selfishness, or severe Asceticism, or inaction, or unwillingness to help oneself or others.

The key is in the emptyiness and imperanence concepts themselves!
Heart Sutra says: No Increasing no Decreasing.
So buddhism does not seek for all humans to become ascetistic celibate monks, otherwise there will be reduction in human jobs and population on earth. But buddhist should not seek the decrease of it either.
Buddhists should not seek annihilation of human worlds.
And buddhists should not get addicted to seeking beneficial karma either, or the decrease of it.
A buddhist heart should not contain fear during their actions.
But buddhists should not recklessly abadon the precept safety tape either, otherwise they will get punished for reckless behaviour themselves.
Whats does the old saying goes: No one is above the law?

So each human themsleves knows the level of "precept" to apply in their own life, because all human have inherent buddah nature within themselves (just muddled). A person should freely adjust the level of the "precept" itself to apply in their own life and scenarios as they deem fit to reduce suffering - for themselvses and/or others. Just be careful not to go into extremes.

The buddahs knows there eventually there will be salvation for ALL sentient beings by the removal of their sufferings, without causing more suffering. Imagine prefect harmony without forcibly changing anybody else!
Truly buddhism is one the most positive relgions in this world!

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cky
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Re: 5 precepts

Post by cky » Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:58 am

A teacher very close to my heart said the 5 precepts are the absolute bare minimum to keep if you want to get somewhere in Dharma!

(p.s.: He also said its an ever evolving training process and not to be too harsh on oneself while in it)
(p.p.s.: Written by a wine-loving student :D )

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