How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

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How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby Dhammanucara » Mon May 23, 2011 5:27 am

How insistent/determined are you in observing your fifth precept?
A. Not even a sip of alcohol, but allow it to be used as supplementary ingredient in cooking
B. Not even a sip of alcohol AND not used in cooking as well
C. Do entertain some small amount of drinks in social gathering with friends, family or business
D. Do entertain some small amount of drinks in social gathering, provided that the drink is not too heavy
E. Do entertain drinks in social gathering (to avoid conflict or estrangement, etc.)
F. Do entertain drinks in social gathering, and occasionally drink at home too
G. Entertain drinks in social gatherings and often drink at home.
H. None of the above/Others

Maybe it would perhaps be better if you could also tell (if it's convenient for you) why you choose a certain option (e.g. A or F), any problem that you face with your choice of option and how you respond (if you did) to that problem.

Let me perhaps start with mine. I choose "A" - that is, not even a sip of alcohol but allow it to be used in cooking. I choose this option because I hold the view that I should try to abstain from intoxicants/alcohol at the best of my ability, so I should not even be tempted to drink a sip. However, growing up in a culture where alcohol is pervasively used, I couldn't avoid but to allow it in the cooking. With this choice, I certainly face the problem of being estranged from my friends since I grow up in a drinking culture; however, I don't think I have a concrete solution to deal with it. The most I could do is that I told my friends that I valued my heedfulness more than anything else. Also, since this is a matter of my principle, I often try to persuade my friends to accept my decision by telling them to look at me as if I am a vegetarian (even though I'm not): if vegetarians could be determined through their conviction of their beliefs and principles about vegetarianism to avoid meat consumption, I should also learn their way of determination, and am hopeful that one day others could view my alcohol-avoidance as much as they view vegetarianism. HOWEVER, this is only my personal view, and I certainly don't expect anyone to agree with me.

P.S. I initially thought of doing a poll, but since I was also interested in knowing the reason(s), problem(s), and response(s) behind one's decision, I did not do using the poll. Sorry for the inconvenience though!

With metta,
Dhammanucara :namaste:
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby Virgo » Mon May 23, 2011 6:45 am

All renunciation is about the wisdom that naturally sees the disadvantages in lobha, dosa, and moha. Not in particular actions but in lobha, dosa, and moha. That is to say that drinking, for example, is caused by lobha (usually) for the pleasant feeling. Not feeding that lobha is wholesome. However, there can be akusala, unwholesomeness, when wisdom doesn't really understand that it (drinking) is a drawback because it is lobha, not for any other reason. In that case, we may think we are awful for taking a sip. That is not the case, but if there is understanding of the lobha, we will refrain from taking even a sip, through wisdom. Otherwise, we do it out of aversion which is unwholesome. Likewise, we then have lots of dosa if we do take a sip, which is unwholesome again (unwholesomeness never helps on the path). Instead, in a case like that, there should be wisdom which sees the drawbacks in the dosa and doesn't heavily chide oneself for engaging in the action, but realizes it was going against what is worthwhile and calmly decides not to do it again with firmness and dedication. So here it is all about understanding lobha, attachment, and dosa, aversion, with wisdom. Unwholesomeness is never the path.

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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby Jhana4 » Mon May 23, 2011 12:00 pm

I was straightedge before I got into meditation so it is a non-issue for me.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby altar » Mon May 23, 2011 12:22 pm

I'm more lenient now than I was. Although it's basically the same standards, of only used in cooking, I have contemplated having a beer at some point in the future or wine on occasions. So for me it is A, but looking at my options. And i like it in cooking :smile:
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby Ytrog » Mon May 23, 2011 12:47 pm

Option B: no alcohol at all
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby nobody12345 » Mon May 23, 2011 1:12 pm

B. Not even a sip of alcohol AND not used in cooking as well
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby ground » Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:37 am

I accept alcohol as an ingredient/excipient in medicines (plant extracts and similar).

B. Not even a sip of alcohol (with the exception s. above) AND not used in cooking as well

Social gatherings I find are actually one main reason to refrain from alcohol and to apply alcohol in cookings is an instance of sensual attachment ("refining" the taste of food). If one wants to make food more "palatable" one may use herbs but not alcohol.

Kind regards
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby Reductor » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:13 am

A. The wife only occasionally adds it to food.

I avoid all uses of alcohol because habits are easy to aquire and hard to shake. And i have three immediate family members in varying stages of alcoholism. It is way too easy to use it as a crutch in differing roles: easing social anxiety, helping with insomnia, forgetting a persistent trouble or just avoidance of boredom.

And it seems that each above reasons is better dealt with in some other way.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby Ben » Sat Jun 04, 2011 6:36 am

A. Not even a sip of alcohol, but allow it to be used as supplementary ingredient in cooking

Very occasionally - so long as the alcohol has an opportunity to evaporate out as part of the cooking process. If it isn't - such as a brandy-laden tiramisu - then no I won't use it in cooking either.
I'll also take alcohol if its a component in medicine - if there is no non-alcohol based alternative.

As for social gatherings - I've never had any issue with anyone wishing to cause me problems because I'm a non-drinker. In fact, I find most people are very accommodating.
kind regards

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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby cooran » Sat Jun 04, 2011 6:43 am

Hello all,

A little bit of extra information about the types of sura and meraya:

The fifth precept deals with intoxicants (sura and meraya). How many types of intoxicants are there? What are they?

There are ten types of intoxicants, five of sura and five of meraya.
Alcohol (sura)...
1. made from flour,
2. made from sweets,
3. made from rice,
4. made from yeast,
5. made from a combination of ingredients.
Fermented (meraya)...
1. made from flowers,
2. made from fruit,
3. made from honey,
4. made from sugar-cane,
5. made from a combination of ingredients.

In the fifth precept, no mention is made of drugs such as opium and marijuana. If one is observing the Uposatha or nicca sila (the Five Precepts as a permanent practice) and indulges in these substances, does one break the precept?

The precept is broken with the use of opium and marijuana. Brandy, champagne and other spirits (even though not specifically mentioned) are included in sura and meraya; if used for medicinal purposes in small amounts, not causing one to become inebriated, then the precept is not broken.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... satha.html

with metta
Chris
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---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby PeterB » Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:30 am

I have a glass of wine from time to time or a beer in warm weather.
That is my interpretation of the precept...one glass does not make me anymore heedless than I would be anyway. I am not advocating it for others. Neither am i likely to respond to homilies. Its "F" for me.
Last edited by PeterB on Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby Nyana » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:21 am

A. Not even a sip of alcohol, but allow it to be used as supplementary ingredient in cooking

Not that I very often have the opportunity to eat the type of cuisine which would include alcohol as an ingredient, but I wouldn't be worried if I were offered a meal which did.

Also, no marijuana or other narcotic drugs.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:38 pm

I practice B: None at all, not even in cooking. Fortunately my wife's side of the family is Muslim so I don't even have to worry about alcohol in any of the foodstuffs or medicines at heir house.
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby PeterB » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:07 pm

( off topic )

Is it just our pc or are other people finding that some posters avatars are obscuring part of their post ?
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby Bodhisurfer » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:14 pm

Funnily enough I was only thinking this morning that of all the Five Precepts, for me, the fith is the easiest :smile:
having been a recreational drug abuser in the past, I see no significant differance between alcohol and any other recreational drug. I dont drink alcohol nor use it in cooking, however, after over 16 years of alcohol abstinance I wouldnt be that put out to discover that something I'd eaten had contained alcohol. so I think the answer for me is B? :smile:
Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby bodom » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:15 pm

PeterB wrote:( off topic )

Is it just our pc or are other people finding that some posters avatars are obscuring part of their post ?


Hi Peter

I don't notice anything on my end of the pc world.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby Bodhisurfer » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:29 pm

Dhammanucara wrote:Maybe it would perhaps be better if you could also tell (if it's convenient for you) why you choose a certain option (e.g. A or F), any problem that you face with your choice of option and how you respond (if you did) to that problem...


sorry missed that bit out..

I find people are initially suprised when I say that I dont drink at all and ask if I really mean 'never' or if I just have the odd drink every now and again. When I say that I havnt had a drink since 1995 most people seem to assume that I am a recovering alcoholic -which is not exactly true but near enough. People are very supportive and I get lots of 'I wish I could do that' type remarks. Very few of my friends drink, none of them smoke and, thinking about it, most of us are quite a 'clean living' bunch these days- and I would say considerably better for it too :smile:
Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby ground » Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:04 pm

TMingyur wrote:I accept alcohol as an ingredient/excipient in medicines (plant extracts and similar).

B. Not even a sip of alcohol (with the exception s. above) AND not used in cooking as well

Social gatherings I find are actually one main reason to refrain from alcohol and to apply alcohol in cookings is an instance of sensual attachment ("refining" the taste of food). If one wants to make food more "palatable" one may use herbs but not alcohol.

Kind regards


Hmh ... I forgot ... it may happen occasionally that "a drop of alcohol" (small sip) may be part of a "ritual" which then is accepted from my side too. (This has nothing to do with Theravadin practice at all. It came into my mind and I do not want to deliberately omit that since I feel that would be lying.)

Kind regards
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:45 pm

A, as long as the alcohol is evaporated. I also allow medication which may alter the mind, for diseases. But, there are medications, for example, to not get nauseated in boats, that alters the mind; that type of medication I don't allow.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Postby PaulD » Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:30 am

E.

All my friends and family are drinkers.
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