Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

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

Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby PeterB » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:28 pm

manasikara wrote:
PeterB wrote:Its all much more simple than we are making it....or perhaps need it to be.
The Dhamma is about where you are. Not being an imitation sadhu or monk.
Its about the heart ....not the thinness of the duvet. If it were then the homeless of London who sleep under railway arches would be characterised by upekkha...and most of them aren't.

Just live your dhamma. In your life as it is. Leave aside romantic notions of being a jungle hermit in an urban setting.
Eat enough, sleep enough in enough comfort . Be normal. But be aware.
These are wise words, and I gained this same understanding only after much trial, error, and dukkha.

:namaste:

Me too Manasikara...I had my floor years and ( worse ) my futon years... :smile:

:anjali:
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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby chownah » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:43 pm

I don't think that not eating after mid-day and avoiding lofty beds are precepts...I think they are just rules for monks. I'm not saying that they are good or bad ideas but I think with respect to the Buddha's teachings they are just rules for monks .
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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby PeterB » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:00 pm

They are precepts if you take the Eight Precepts...commonly done on retreats. And Uposatha Days.
What is not common is an attempt by lay people to live by the Eight precepts on a permanent basis.
Last edited by PeterB on Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby ground » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:13 pm

Instead of "jumping right into it" renunciation of all tastes one uses to delight in may be a good practice approach leading to "Not eating after mid-day".


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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby ground » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:21 pm

One should be aware that practicing "right eating" may lead to the fruit of non-returning:

"In the same way, I tell you, is the nutriment of physical food to be regarded. When physical food is comprehended, passion for the five strings of sensuality is comprehended. When passion for the five strings of sensuality is comprehended, there is no fetter bound by which a disciple of the noble ones would come back again to this world.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby PeterB » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:23 pm

Tell that to the inhabitants of Somalia....
More mechanistic twaddle.
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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby ground » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:27 pm

PeterB wrote:Tell that to the inhabitants of Somalia....
More mechanistic twaddle.


There is no end of "arguments" against renunciation. Therefore samsara is without end.


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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby PeterB » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:38 pm

Samsara is without end anyway....gravity does not cease to exist because of the Wright brothers.
Dhamma gives us a choice, It dies not abolish samsara.
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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby ground » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:51 pm

There is no alternative to renunciation regardless of what people being proud of having met many teachers may say.
So better to rely on the Buddha's words than on the words of proud ones.

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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby ground » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:00 pm

One should also renounce fabrications ... be it the fabrication "mechanistic twaddle" as a label for renunciation or the fabrication "passive aggression" as a label for praising the Buddha's words and differentiating between them and what are not his words.

As to "love":
The word's of the Buddha are conducive objects of appreciation:

6. "Bhikkhus. Ariyan disciples in this Religion reflect thus:

"'All arahants, for as long as life lasts, eat at one time only and do not partake of food in the evening. They abstain from food at the 'wrong time'."[6]

"All of you eat at one time only and do not partake of food in the evening. You abstain from food at the 'wrong time.' For all of this day and night, in this manner, you will be known as having followed the arahants, and the Uposatha will have been observed by you. This is the sixth factor of the Uposatha.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaka.html



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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby ground » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:14 pm

So to practice "Not eating after mid-day" certainly is conducive also if done only at Uposatha days or other single days.
Trying to emulate the arhats' conduct of "Not eating after mid-day" through extending the periods of this practice however may reveal exactly the lack of this fruit in all its aspects and thus provide an excellent basis for one's further practice.

Of course the same holds true for "Avoiding lofty beds":
8. "Bhikkhus. Ariyan disciples in this Religion reflect thus:

"'All arahants, for as long as life lasts, have given up lying on large or high beds. They are content with low beds or bedding made of grass.'

"All of you have given up lying on large or high beds. You are content with low beds or beds made of grass. For all of this day and night, in this manner, you will be known as having followed the arahants, and the Uposatha will have been observed by you. This is the eighth factor of the Uposatha.

"Bhikkhus. The Uposatha is comprised of these eight factors which the Ariyan disciple observes, and it is of great and glorious fruit and benefit."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaka.html



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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby appicchato » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:15 pm

There we go...the two quotes of the Buddha given by TMingyur (thank you) would/could/should seem to be the way to go...this wanderer does... :zzz: :pig:
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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby alan » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:40 am

Sorry to disappoint you once again, my dear monk. Maybe one of these days you will state an opinion, instead of gritting your teeth in vain disapproval.
Friends: the best bed is the one that allows you the most restful sleep, so that you can awaken refreshed and ready to study. Any other considerations about beds is, in my opinion, a total waste of time. This absurd preoccupation with rules is completely pointless. Don't lose sleep over it!
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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby alan » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:00 am

As for meals, you should eat when you are hungry. Yes, digesting meals requires energy. That is a good reason to do it 3 or 4 times a day, in small portions, rather than once only. That way, you burn energy more efficiently.
Going to bed hungry, and sleeping poorly, does not make you more aware. It does not make you a better student. What does it do, besides making you feel morally superior?
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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby jackson » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:05 am

Greetings Alan,
You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but out of curiosity have you ever undertaken either of these precepts, and if so for how long?
Respectfully,
Jackson
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby alan » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:22 am

Not relevant.
Accept or reject what I'm saying based upon reason. If I told you I lived in a cave in India for 20 years, would it influence your judgement?
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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby jackson » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:16 am

Greetings Alan,
I'd put more weight in your reasoning if it came from experience, which to me makes it relevant. You make claims that not sleeping on a high bed leads to poor sleep and feelings of moral superiority and yet in my experience it led to lighter sleep, not poor, and certainly I was not lying around thinking "oh those high-bedders, wasting their lives away!" :) I have comparatively little experience regarding not eating after noon, but the experience I have has indeed made me more aware of just how big a part food plays in daily life, and how attached I am to fulfilling desire. Anyway, I'd like to kindly suggest that if you've never tried keeping the eight precepts then give it a try for a day, perhaps your opinion wouldn't change, or perhaps you'd see that there are indeed numerous benefits that outweigh any discomfort one may experience.
Best wishes, :smile:
Jackson
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby PeterB » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:47 am

I have observed the Eight Precepts on numerous occasions. Mostly while on Retreat. And found them useful. Both in combating sloth and in maintaining awareness.
But the idea of living like that permanently as well as working a ( frequently ) 55-60 hour week and having a large and demanding family is unthinkable, for me at least.
I am not a monk . Nor do I have any aspirations to be a monk or an imitation monk.
My life throws up all the disciplines I need.
If I just sat around all day being wise online I guess I might have the energy to recommend impractical lifestyles to all and sundry.
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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby Nyana » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:59 am

alan wrote:This absurd preoccupation with rules is completely pointless.

A preoccupation with rules would also be counter-productive. Of course, some of us are uptight to begin with, and would do better to loosen up and relax. Others are sloppy, and would do better to clean things up a bit. Most of us are just unaware. But in every case, relating to renunciation as an aspect of voluntary simplicity -- a way to create some space in one's life -- is probably more helpful than trying to conform to external rules for their own sake.

All the best,

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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:53 pm

For lay people there is no requirement to engage in these two higher precepts. It is simply a voluntary choice by some lay people to follow these on Uposatha days or in some cases on almost every day. No one is forced to follow these precepts. One can engage in them and see if it works. If it doesn't, then don't do it. If it works, great! As far as I can see, no one is claiming moral superiority for following these two precepts.

In my own experience I haven't noticed any difference one way or the other in regard to low or high beds. I sleep on a low platform bed, but not on the floor and in my opinion it doesn't matter for a lay person how low or high the bed is; what matters more is what you do with the mind while in bed.

But in regard to eating before noon and/or one meal, I have seen benefits for the mind, body (health), better sleep and one more big thing: more time!

When you only have to prepare one meal, you have much more time available, be it for work, study, family, meditation, etc. If it takes an average of about 30 minutes to prepare a meal, 30 minutes to eat it and 30 minutes to clean the preparation dishes, plates, and silverware, that is 1.5 hours per meal which = 4.5 hours per day if you eat 3 meals. But with one meal, you "save" about 3 hours per day to do other things.
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