Uposatha Days

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Uposatha Days

Postby theravada_guy » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:41 am

Greetings all,

I didn't observe Asalha Puja today because I wasn't sure if I could keep the precepts or not. The reason being, I'm not sure if I'm allowed to use the Internet for Dhamma purposes. So, is it permissible, while observing the Eight Precepts, to use the Internet for Dhamma purposes and communication with the outside world? What about cell phones, if it's just for communication? And as far as communication, I mean nothing sexual. Just talking to family and friends. Thanks guys for any insight you can provide on this.
With metta,

Justin
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Re: Uposatha Days

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:36 am

Hi theravada_guy,

I presume you are asking about this:
Nacca-gīta-vādita-visūka-dassanā mālā-gandha-vilepana-dhāraṇa-maṇḍana-vibhūsanaṭṭhānā veramaṇī sikkhā-padaṃ samādiyāmi.
I undertake the training rule to refrain from dancing, singing, music, watching shows, wearing garlands, beautifying myself with perfumes & cosmetics.

In my opinion it's completely up to you. This is a renunciation precept, not a morality precept.

Ask yourself whether the talking you do with your family or the dhamma discussion is something like any of those things (the first four could be summarised as "entertainment").

Mike
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Re: Uposatha Days

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:41 am

Hi,

The prcecepts are pretty clear about what you can and cannot do if you want to undertake them as training rules. Unless you are using the computer to watch movies or listen to music I don't see how you could be breaking a precept. I'm not quite sure what kind of an understanding you've formulate about the intent and/or the actual wording of the uposatha precepts but I'd recommend you read some of the suttas that specifically take up the issue.

You can start here if you like: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an08/an08.041.vaka.html

In addition, we have a Facebook group dedicated to the observance of the uposatha and I'd encourage you join (if you haven't already) as you may find it helpful to discuss this practice with others. Anyway, I hope this helps to allay your confusion somewhat and I commend you for taking on this sometimes difficult but always rewarding observance. Metta.
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

Uposatha Observance Club:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=148031379279&v=info
Kiva-Theravada Buddhists:http://www.kiva.org/team/theravada_buddhists
Dana on the Interwebs:
http://greatergood.com
http://freerice.com
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Re: Uposatha Days

Postby theravada_guy » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:49 am

Mike:

Yes, I was referring to the entertainment aspect. I didn't know if using the computer counted as "entertainment" if it wasn't used for YouTube and such sites.

Khalil Bodhi:

I actually joined that club, but left Facebook. I've only observed one Uposatha, there's a thread about it somewhere else.

To you both and everyone, I guess I'm getting caught up in the modern technology we have and how it fits in with the Precepts. Obviously, there was no Internet back in the Buddha's time. We know that, of course. It's just the modern applications, to keep it all in line with the Precepts, whether 5 or 8. I take the Five Precepts every day.

Thanks!
With metta,

Justin
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Re: Uposatha Days

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:59 am

theravada_guy wrote:Yes, I was referring to the entertainment aspect. I didn't know if using the computer counted as "entertainment" if it wasn't used for YouTube and such sites.

Yes, I agree. I don't see why the technology used would ever be an issue.

And, as I said, I don't see any point in making the precepts some sort of legalistic thing. That always sounds to me like preparation for making excuses for something that the questioner knows is not right. It's up to you to figure it out. Not up to me, not up to this discussion group. Either you know something is frivolous entertainment or you know it isn't. To me that's the only thing worth considering.

Mike
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