What do you do for the uposatha?

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom
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Khalil Bodhi
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What do you do for the uposatha?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:58 am

Hello All,

This is going to be a quick post (that's the hope at least). Today is an uposatha day and I am once again trying my best to observe it. I have, for quite some time, had little interest in movies, sitcoms, video games, music and most of what would fall under the 7th precept which is as follows:

I undertake the rule of training to refrain from
dancing, singing, music, going to see entertainments,
wearing garlands, smartening with perfumes and beautifying
with cosmetics.

I do, however, derive a lot of pleasure and distraction from incessantly reading and researching whatever strikes my fancy including continuously scanning the various Buddhist fora. My question is this: Should I (and, by extension I suppose, should any of us) forego such diversions even if they are "Dhammic" in nature (i.e., reading a post on a Buddhist forum or reading an article on comparative religion) because they are precisely diversions? Anyway, I would appreciate hearing anyone's opinion and experiences. Rakkhantu sabba devataa!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: What do you do for the uposatha?

Postby Annatar » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:54 pm

It is excellent that you are observing uposatha days, something that I must confess I have not really done very often.
I notice that you use some interesting words in your post: distraction, incessantly, and diversions.
I wonder whether distraction is a wholesome state.
Incessantly sounds perhaps a bit obsessional.
Diversion - I wonder what this activity is diverting you from?
It might be interesting to avoid this activity on uposatha days and see what mental states arise.
Perhaps just try it say for a few hours initially.

With metta,

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Re: What do you do for the uposatha?

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:16 pm

You should forgo those things from time to time to do meditation retreats, if you can't do 9+ day retreats then even a day here or there is better than nothing. I don't think it matters what day you do it, no need to wait for an upsosatha day.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah

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