About the fifth Śīla

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

About the fifth Śīla

Postby dragonwarrior » Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:59 am

"To refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness"

Alcohol is included, isn't it? Do you still drink? :toast:

Winny wrote:Drinkers should answer:
1. why are you addicted to alcohol? Is it just for fun/ kinda escape when you got stressed?
2. do you intend to stop your addiction? do you think you can beat alcoholism?

hope we all stay healthy
:anjali:
winny
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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:16 am

Not since my first retreat...

Lucky for you, I think honey is OK though...

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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:19 am

I have a few sips of champaigne at a wedding or similar rather than be attention seeking ( which is what it would feel like if I refused ) otherwise not.
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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby Ben » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:17 am

None of the silas are optional.
I don't drink, nor do I serve alcohol or approve of others drinking. and if i am asked, I am unapolgetic.
Even if one is not a Buddhist, the evidence of alcohol destroying lives, families and communities is self apparent.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby Dan74 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:58 am

I don't quite share Ben's attitude here.

Personally I had just about given up (lost interest in alcoholic drinks and mindstates) until I made friends with a fellow to whom this is a very important ritual. So every two months or so we share a barrel of beer in my garage.

The Buddha gave very practical reasons for avoiding intoxication and as a general rule it is both wise and expedient. When those reasons do not apply, however, or when there are other considerations, exception can be made, I think.

On a side note, Chogyam Trungpa was said to frequent pubs and talk dharma to the alcoholics. Quite a few became his disciples, I believe.

In Japanese Zen it is also a lot more acceptable with Sasaki Roshi still indulging at 102 from what I've heard. Korean monks generally follow the Vinaya and don't drink but my teacher's teacher, Kusan Sunim happily toasted with a full glass on his American trip and would just leave it full without making any fuss.

Just some stories from other traditions in case people are interested.

_/|\_
_/|\_
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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby Ben » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:36 pm

Dan it wasn't just avoiding intoxication. It was abstaining.

'All arahants, for as long as life lasts, have given up the taking of liquors and intoxicants (sura-meraya-majja-pamadatthana), of that which intoxicates, causing carelessness. They are far from intoxicants.

-- Uposotha sutta

The fifth precept reads: Suramerayamajjapamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami, "I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented and distilled intoxicants which are the basis for heedlessness."

-- Going for Refuge & Taking the Precepts by Bhikkhu Bodhi


until I made friends with a fellow to whom this is a very important ritual. So every two months or so we share a barrel of beer in my garage.

Are you sure you're not just enabling his addiction?

Just some stories from other traditions in case people are interested.

All sorts of abhorent behaviour gets excused as 'skilful means'. And really what's going on is that people keep precepts when they want and abandon them when it suits them. Nowhere in the Tipitaka have I seen the Buddha advocating that behaviour.

If you want skilful means, why don't you have a chat to some of the inmates on your next round at the prison who have been responsible for killing people due to driving under the influence of alcohol, or inmates who have committed violent crimes while intoxicated. Spend some time at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter and speak to those with serious mental and other health issues and their alcoholism.
Go spend some time at the Emergency Department of Royal Perth Hospital on a Friday or Saturday nights and see the trauma cases roll in, people who've been mashed in cars or bashed or stabbed by intoxicated individuals. Go up to Port Hedland, have a look at the alcohol-addled indigenous people, living in their own filth on the perimeter of town. It should be a prescient reminder of the First Noble Truth and why the fifth precept should be maintained.

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby Dan74 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:34 pm

I think you are preaching to the converted here, Ben.

There is no denying that alcohol is a factor is a vast number of tragedies.

There is also no denying that different cultures handle it very differently. For example in Italy, where a glass of wine is almost obligatory at lunch, there is far less alcoholism than in most other European countries and positive side effects like lower cholesterol, etc, while in Northern Europe and Russia, the story is sadly very different.

Your last paragraph is also unlikely to convince most of my colleagues who enjoy a quite glass of wine with their Saturday tea and don't kill people on the road or beat their wives afterwards. And quite rightly too.

Drinking, like every other activity, is vastly imbued with the social attitudes, context, beliefs and personal attributes of course.

Have a look here, for example:

http://www.peele.net/lib/sociocul.html

How Italian youth, as distinct from American youth, are taught to drink:
"Italians, like Jews, are a group whose members tend to drink and to have low rates of alcohol problems. The attitudes and behaviors of Italians in the United States are a reflection of those in Italy, where children are introduced to alcohol as part of their regular family life and learn to drink moderate amounts while still young. In both countries, alcohol is commonly drunk with meals and is considered a natural and normal food. Most people agree that alcohol in moderation, for those who choose to drink, is necessary, and that abuse is unacceptable and results in immediate sanctions. People are not pressured to drink, and abstention does not offend others; drinking reflects sociability and social cohesion rather than a means to achieve them. Very few people drink for the physiological effect, and most people take alcohol for granted, with no mixed feelings or uncertainty about it." Hanson, D.J., "The United States of America," pp. 300-315 in Heath, D.B., ed., International Handbook on Alcohol and Culture, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, 1995, p. 309.
"In Italy, in contrast to America, drinking is institutionalized as part of family life and dietary and religious custom; alcohol (wine) is introduced early in life, within the context of the family, and as a traditional accompaniment to meals and a healthful way of enhancing the diet. Drinking is not, as it is in America, associated with transformation of status from adolescence to adulthood; alcohol use is not an illicit activity for Italian youth; and heavy, consistent use of alcohol in Italy does not carry with it the same `problem' connotation that it does in America. Such an approach to the socialization of alcohol use should make it less likely in Italy than in America that drinking will be learned as a way of trying to solve personal problems or of coping with inadequacy and failure." Jessor, R., et al., "Perceived Opportunity, Alienation, and Drinking Behavior Among Italian and American Youth," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1970, Vol. 15, 215-222 (quote pp. 215-216).


I am not trying to excuse or rationalise drinking. In fact for anyone with some experience with meditation it is usually obvious that even a small drink seriously impairs the ability to function, let alone function mindfully. What I am questioning is your categorical approach that does not gel with the Dhamma as I understand it, your quotes notwithstanding.

I think the key are the words "carelessness" and "heedlessness" in your citations. Avoiding these mental states and what leads to them is the intention of the precept as I see it. And of course the kamma that often follows.

As for your comment about abhorent actions being excused as "skillful means" I think that was uncalled for. For starters, skillful means are already present in Theravada as obviously different teachings are more suitable for different personalities and abilities (Sangiti Sutta). So inherently there are levels to practice and to explanation. In Dharma, as I learned it, ethics is the foundation (Six Paramitas). The intent of the Fifth Precept, as I see it, is primarily to avoid unwholesome mental states that tend to lead to compromising the ethics.

Also, my friend is not an alcoholic. He is a moderate drinker. He is addicted to smoking and this is something that he may one day want to explore in our garage chats. I don't know. But hope so.

_/|\_

PS Since you quote the Uposatha Sutta, may I ask if you eat after midday, listen to music or lie on high beds? Would you advocate these as strongly? Otherwise why quote selectively?
_/|\_
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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:02 pm

Winny wrote:"To refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness"

Alcohol is included, isn't it? Do you still drink? :toast:


I drink occasionally -- a glass of beer or wine now and then, at family occasions or business socials, etc. However, I have not taken the precepts formally, and probably would not take this particular precept in a tradition that regarded it as a strict prohibition. I just don't have the discipline or inclination, though I respect those who do.

Being aware of the precept has certainly changed my view of alcohol, and generally speaking I not only avoid it, but don't particularly crave it.
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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby dragonwarrior » Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:33 pm

Drinkers should answer:
1. why are you addicted to alcohol? Is it just for fun/ kinda escape when you got stressed?
2. do you intend to stop your addiction? do you think you can beat alcoholism?

hope we all stay healthy
:anjali:
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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:25 pm

Winny wrote:Drinkers should answer:
1. why are you addicted to alcohol? Is it just for fun/ kinda escape when you got stressed?
2. do you intend to stop your addiction? do you think you can beat alcoholism?

hope we all stay healthy
:anjali:
winny


Well, I guess we could get into a heady debate about how you define "addiction". I would describe my relationship to alcohol as "mild attachment". I have a stronger attachment to toasted bagels. :tongue:

Why am I unwilling to commit to giving it up completely? Probably because it's a sense pleasure and I still want the option of enjoying it from time to time.

Also because it's part of social life and there are occasions where I'd prefer to participate, in moderation.

Finally, because I don't currently see the drawbacks in this "flexible" approach, except for not being able to say that I follow the precepts. Actually, I do follow them, to the best of my present abilities. Perhaps this will become a more pressing issue as my practice deepens.

:namaste:
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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby Jechbi » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:31 pm

My understanding is that it's a training rule one takes for oneself, not something that one imposes on another. The decision is always going to be, in this moment right now, what activity will help cultivate the causes and conditions for cessation of dukkha? In my view, these training rules are practical steps we can take to remind ourselves to watch this present moment. I'm probably just stating the obvious.

We all have our own bags to carry.

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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby Ben » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:44 pm

Dan74 wrote:I think you are preaching to the converted here, Ben.

With respect, I don't think I am Dan.
There is no denying that alcohol is a factor is a vast number of tragedies.

This we agree on. Where we seem to diverge is that you do not believe that drinking alcohol creates negative kamma and continues to feed and support deep-rooted kilesas. Alayakilesas.
There is also no denying that different cultures handle it very differently. For example in Italy, where a glass of wine is almost obligatory at lunch, there is far less alcoholism than in most other European countries and positive side effects like lower cholesterol, etc, while in Northern Europe and Russia, the story is sadly very different.

With respect, its not relevant here. This is really a discussion on the fifth precept.
Your last paragraph is also unlikely to convince most of my colleagues who enjoy a quite glass of wine with their Saturday tea and don't kill people on the road or beat their wives afterwards. And quite rightly too.

I am not here to convince your colleagues, though I am surprised that some members of the health profession who deal with the effects of substance abuse continue to indulge in alcohol consumption.
Drinking, like every other activity, is vastly imbued with the social attitudes, context, beliefs and personal attributes of course.

It appears that you are saying that various social attitudes, contexts, beliefs and personal attributes trump sila. And I reject this categorically.
Can we use the above as argument for lying? stealing? committing various sexual misconducts? killing? We are talking about sila, sila which is the bedrock for the path, the foundation for liberation.

Have a look here, for example:

http://www.peele.net/lib/sociocul.html

Thank you for the link.

I am not trying to excuse or rationalise drinking. In fact for anyone with some experience with meditation it is usually obvious that even a small drink seriously impairs the ability to function, let alone function mindfully.

Absolutely, but not only when we are in meditation.
What I am questioning is your categorical approach that does not gel with the Dhamma as I understand it, your quotes notwithstanding.

This is where we disagree.

I think the key are the words "carelessness" and "heedlessness" in your citations. Avoiding these mental states and what leads to them is the intention of the precept as I see it. And of course the kamma that often follows.

If you are right, then the wording of the sila would be different. More like 'Don't become heedless and careless from taking intoxicants', instead, we see the word abstain
As for your comment about abhorent actions being excused as "skillful means" I think that was uncalled for.

I am merely calling it as I see it. I think it would be a grave matter of concern if a teacher is not upholding basic sila.

For starters, skillful means are already present in Theravada as obviously different teachings are more suitable for different personalities and abilities (Sangiti Sutta). So inherently there are levels to practice and to explanation.

And I will call it as I see it if its a theravada teacher or mahayana teacher. Don't conflate this as sectarian!

In Dharma, as I learned it, ethics is the foundation (Six Paramitas). The intent of the Fifth Precept, as I see it, is primarily to avoid unwholesome mental states that tend to lead to compromising the ethics.

Then how does one avoid unwholesome mental states when one indulges in an intoxicant? You have already conceded that even small amounts are deliterious.

Also, my friend is not an alcoholic. He is a moderate drinker. He is addicted to smoking and this is something that he may one day want to explore in our garage chats. I don't know. But hope so.

My apologies. But from your description of the ritual of sharing a keg - it seemed like an addiction issue.

_/|\_

PS Since you quote the Uposatha Sutta, may I ask if you eat after midday, listen to music or lie on high beds? Would you advocate these as strongly? Otherwise why quote selectively?

Dan, the five precepts are within the eight uposotha precepts. That is why I quoted the uposotha sutta. Its not a matter of selective quoting. And yes, I do uphold the eight precepts when on retreat. The precepts are there for your benefit.

Dan, if you have seen what I have seen - I am sure that like me, you wouldn't touch alcohol again. Life is very short and fickle Dan. At any moment we can be swepped away. I have decided what I want to devote my life to. And that is my family and the Dhamma. Nowhere have I seen in the Tipitaka anywhere where the Buddha says that the fifth precept can be dispensed with - or any of the sila for that matter.
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby Individual » Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:08 pm

Winny wrote:"To refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness"

Alcohol is included, isn't it? Do you still drink? :toast:

Winny wrote:Drinkers should answer:
1. why are you addicted to alcohol? Is it just for fun/ kinda escape when you got stressed?
2. do you intend to stop your addiction? do you think you can beat alcoholism?

hope we all stay healthy
:anjali:
winny

I do think alcohol would be included, yes. I still drink on occasion.

My father is an alcoholic, and I think it's a bit ridiculous to refer to anybody who drink alcohol as an "alcoholic". My mother is not an alcoholic, but i have seen her act extremely inappropriately after only drinking a very small amount of alcohol. With some people, even small amounts make them extremely belligerent, obnoxious, and rude, while with other people, it just makes them relaxed and seems OK.

I do think it's best to abstain from alcohol, but I understand why people don't and can even imagine cases where using alcohol moderately as a short-term buffer against social anxiety or "icebreaker" might be useful. In moderation, the negative effects are negligible, about as bad as committing evil acts in one's dreams, and are balanced out by positive effects on health.

Moral absolutes aren't always reliable guides for behavior. Despite the fact that my father is a heavy smoker and drinker, he's in perfect health. One of his brothers, who has never smoked or drank alcohol, has been in the hospital for the past several years due to kidney failure. Statistically, it should be the other way around, given what alcohol does to the kidneys.
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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby Individual » Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:22 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:Why am I unwilling to commit to giving it up completely? Probably because it's a sense pleasure and I still want the option of enjoying it from time to time.

And there is a danger in that. The suttas definitely regard all sensual pleasures as dangerous.
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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby sherubtse » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:47 pm

Winny wrote:"To refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness"

Alcohol is included, isn't it? Do you still drink? :toast:


:anjali:
winny
[/quote]

Nope, never touch the stuff. By far the easiest of the 5 precepts for me to keep, as I have always had a dislike of booze.

With metta,
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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby pink_trike » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:59 pm

Never touch it. In most premodern cultures it was a medicine only.
Vision is Mind
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Clear Light is Union
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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:55 am

pink_trike wrote:Never touch it. In most premodern cultures it was a medicine only.

Most, is that true? It might be true, but many of the great and not-so-great civilizations used it socially: the Egyptians, the Jews, the Greeks & Romans, the Indians, and of course, it was widely used in medieval Europe.

Beer is credited as being one of the pillars upon which civilization itself was developed, because it was a convenient method of storing and preserving grain, hence it's been called "liquid bread" by historians. In medieval Europe, people drank beer more often than they drank water, because their water supplies were often contaminated while they didn't get sick from drinking beer, since the alcohol kills bacteria.

See the episode on "Beer" on Modern Marvels, on the History Channel.
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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby Dan74 » Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:06 am

Hi Ben,

I don't want to hijack the thread (any more) with our debate, so just very briefly:

Where we seem to diverge is that you do not believe that drinking alcohol creates negative kamma and continues to feed and support deep-rooted kilesas. Alayakilesas.


Yes, as a universal rule, I disagree. I am curious what justification you have for making this statement.

There is also no denying that different cultures handle it very differently. For example in Italy, where a glass of wine is almost obligatory at lunch, there is far less alcoholism than in most other European countries and positive side effects like lower cholesterol, etc, while in Northern Europe and Russia, the story is sadly very different.

With respect, its not relevant here. This is really a discussion on the fifth precept.


No so, Ben, you brought a whole bundle of social ills associated with alcohol as an argument in support of your view. I responded that it is not necessarily alcohol per se, that is responsible, since in other cultures, the effects are nowhere near as dramatic. And besides there are many responsible people having a glass of wine with their meal that suffer (or inflict) no obvious damage at all.
Drinking, like every other activity, is vastly imbued with the social attitudes, context, beliefs and personal attributes of course.

It appears that you are saying that various social attitudes, contexts, beliefs and personal attributes trump sila. And I reject this categorically.
Can we use the above as argument for lying? stealing? committing various sexual misconducts? killing? We are talking about sila, sila which is the bedrock for the path, the foundation for liberation.


What I meant was that "social attitudes, contexts, beliefs and personal attributes" colour the effects of alcohol on the individual an society. If you come with implicit assumption as to these, drinking any amount of alcohol is just bad, a little bit of bad or a whole lot of bad. But if having a drink is seen as a part of sharing a joyful occasion, in a society where moderation is taken for granted, then your examples are simply irrelevant.

On the subject of sila, I see sila as doing no harm to oneself and others (and if fact extending kindness, patience and compassion whenever possible) and I see a glass of wine as not necessarily a problem in that regard.

If you have different definitions or descriptions of sila from the suttas, I'd certainly be very interested in hearing them.

Thank you for engaging in this discussion. I see that you have very strong view on the subject and I respect that, but perhaps you can see that yours is not the only valid angle on the subject.

_/|\_

PS I am not a health professional, BTW, I am a mathematician. Our drug of choice is coffee. :coffee:

Ben wrote:
Dan74 wrote:I think you are preaching to the converted here, Ben.

With respect, I don't think I am Dan.
There is no denying that alcohol is a factor is a vast number of tragedies.

This we agree on. Where we seem to diverge is that you do not believe that drinking alcohol creates negative kamma and continues to feed and support deep-rooted kilesas. Alayakilesas.
There is also no denying that different cultures handle it very differently. For example in Italy, where a glass of wine is almost obligatory at lunch, there is far less alcoholism than in most other European countries and positive side effects like lower cholesterol, etc, while in Northern Europe and Russia, the story is sadly very different.

With respect, its not relevant here. This is really a discussion on the fifth precept.
Your last paragraph is also unlikely to convince most of my colleagues who enjoy a quite glass of wine with their Saturday tea and don't kill people on the road or beat their wives afterwards. And quite rightly too.

I am not here to convince your colleagues, though I am surprised that some members of the health profession who deal with the effects of substance abuse continue to indulge in alcohol consumption.
Drinking, like every other activity, is vastly imbued with the social attitudes, context, beliefs and personal attributes of course.

It appears that you are saying that various social attitudes, contexts, beliefs and personal attributes trump sila. And I reject this categorically.
Can we use the above as argument for lying? stealing? committing various sexual misconducts? killing? We are talking about sila, sila which is the bedrock for the path, the foundation for liberation.

Have a look here, for example:

http://www.peele.net/lib/sociocul.html

Thank you for the link.

I am not trying to excuse or rationalise drinking. In fact for anyone with some experience with meditation it is usually obvious that even a small drink seriously impairs the ability to function, let alone function mindfully.

Absolutely, but not only when we are in meditation.
What I am questioning is your categorical approach that does not gel with the Dhamma as I understand it, your quotes notwithstanding.

This is where we disagree.

I think the key are the words "carelessness" and "heedlessness" in your citations. Avoiding these mental states and what leads to them is the intention of the precept as I see it. And of course the kamma that often follows.

If you are right, then the wording of the sila would be different. More like 'Don't become heedless and careless from taking intoxicants', instead, we see the word abstain
As for your comment about abhorent actions being excused as "skillful means" I think that was uncalled for.

I am merely calling it as I see it. I think it would be a grave matter of concern if a teacher is not upholding basic sila.

For starters, skillful means are already present in Theravada as obviously different teachings are more suitable for different personalities and abilities (Sangiti Sutta). So inherently there are levels to practice and to explanation.

And I will call it as I see it if its a theravada teacher or mahayana teacher. Don't conflate this as sectarian!

In Dharma, as I learned it, ethics is the foundation (Six Paramitas). The intent of the Fifth Precept, as I see it, is primarily to avoid unwholesome mental states that tend to lead to compromising the ethics.

Then how does one avoid unwholesome mental states when one indulges in an intoxicant? You have already conceded that even small amounts are deliterious.

Also, my friend is not an alcoholic. He is a moderate drinker. He is addicted to smoking and this is something that he may one day want to explore in our garage chats. I don't know. But hope so.

My apologies. But from your description of the ritual of sharing a keg - it seemed like an addiction issue.

_/|\_

PS Since you quote the Uposatha Sutta, may I ask if you eat after midday, listen to music or lie on high beds? Would you advocate these as strongly? Otherwise why quote selectively?

Dan, the five precepts are within the eight uposotha precepts. That is why I quoted the uposotha sutta. Its not a matter of selective quoting. And yes, I do uphold the eight precepts when on retreat. The precepts are there for your benefit.

Dan, if you have seen what I have seen - I am sure that like me, you wouldn't touch alcohol again. Life is very short and fickle Dan. At any moment we can be swepped away. I have decided what I want to devote my life to. And that is my family and the Dhamma. Nowhere have I seen in the Tipitaka anywhere where the Buddha says that the fifth precept can be dispensed with - or any of the sila for that matter.
kind regards

Ben
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_/|\_
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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:22 am

Even assuming you're right, Dan (and I believe you are) if stating that "total abstinence from alcohol" is one's interpretation of the 5th precept prevents even one person from an alcohol-related tragedy, that benefit seems to outweigh the possibility of offending someone who likes to enjoy the occasional glass of wine, after they are told what they do is bad kamma.
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Re: About the fifth Śīla

Postby Dan74 » Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:28 am

You don't need to side with anybody, Individual. As I said in my first post, I believe the Precept is both practical and wise. I can happily live without alcohol and would shed no tears if there was no alcohol (and drugs) left anywhere on the planet (except for medicinal uses) - the benefits would outweigh the inconvenience caused to happy social drinkers.

What I took issue with is Ben's seemingly militant approach -"if you have any alcohol at all, you are in breach of Sila" and by implication not a committed Buddhist. Blanket approaches like these tend to backfire, I find.

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