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 David2 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:42 pm

David N. Snyder wrote: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;
.


Yes, what matters is not really how low or high a bed is, but how soft or hard (though low beds are most of the times harder than high beds).
The harder a sleeping place is, the more unlikely it is to oversleep and to waste time.
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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:20 pm

David N. Snyder wrote: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.

I agree. On the various retreats I've been on I just sleep on whatever is "given", which may well be a rather high bunk... Which I wouldn't lose any sleep over as far as the precepts are concerned, and I've never come across anyone who actually cared about whether the bed they were offered met some particular measure. Certainly none of the monks I've met...

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

Postby cooran » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:25 pm

Hello all,

This might be of interest:

Excerpt from: Uposatha Sila = The Eight-Precept Observance compiled and written by Somdet Phra Buddhaghosacariya (Ñanavara Thera)
translated from the Thai by Bhikkhu Kantasilo

''The eighth precept does not permit the use of high or large beds. It is still not clear what is meant here. Perhaps even the one who is observing the precepts doesn't understand completely. What is meant by a large bed, and what are the measurements that make a large bed unallowable?

Beds and stools, made of boards, rattan or cloth, may have many curved or straight legs. The bed should not exceed 8 sugata inches (approximately 20 modern inches [3]) in height, measured from the base board down. Exceeding this height would make the bed unallowable. In the case of a square stool, even if the legs exceed 8 sugata inches it is still allowable. If a bed has a back and side boards, even if it is a little over the prescribed dimensions it is allowable. A bed or stool that has legs longer than the allowed measurements but which is fixed in place is allowable. A bed which does not have a head board may, by putting wood under the legs, be elevated up to but not exceeding 8 sugata inches. High beds and seats tend to lead to boastfulness and excitement. Thus the purpose behind not sitting or lying on high seats or beds is to avoid the possibility of such things leading to lust.

What are the characteristics of beds and stools?
The bed is long and is for reclining upon. The stool is for sitting on and is either round or four-sided.
How many arms-widths or forearms-lengths in size before a bed is too big for use?
The bed is not measured in this fashion. The term 'big' here refers to coverings and decorations that should not be used. The Atthakatha Acariyas have arranged a list of nineteen.
• A seat adorned with images of fierce animals such as tigers, crocodiles, etc.
• Pelts with long fur. (The hairs exceed four inches in length.)
• Spreads made of wool, which are intricately embroidered.
• Spreads made of wool, with intricate designs.
• Spreads made of wool, with pictures of flowers.
• Spreads made of wool, with intricate pictures of various animals.
• Spreads made of wool, with hair on both sides.
• Spreads made of wool, with hair on one side.
• Spreads made out of tiger skins.
• Red canopy furnishings.
• Elephant rugs.
• Horse rugs.
• Chariot rugs.
• Spreads woven of gold and silk and trimmed in gold.
• Spreads woven of silk and trimmed in gold.
• A woolen spread big enough for 16 dancers to dance on.
• Spreads made from civet pelts.
• Beds with red cushions at both ends.
• A mattress stuffed with nothing but kapok.

Another explanation of the term 'big' or 'large' bed here is that it refers to a bed big enough for two or more persons. Those who keep the Uposatha precepts stay away from beds such as these, which are meant for couples.

What mattresses (stuffings) are allowable?
• Mattresses stuffed with wool or feathers or with fur from bipeds or quadrupeds but not with human hair.
• Mattresses stuffed with cloth.
• Mattresses stuffed with bark.
• Mattresses stuffed with grass.
• Mattresses stuffed with leaves, except for the leaves of the Borneo camphor. The leaves of the Borneo camphor, if mixed with the leaves of other trees, are allowable.
Mattresses in the above list have been allowed by the Buddha.

According to the Sutta, it is not allowable to lie on a large or high bed. ..............

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

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:48 pm

Thanks Chris,

With those measurements it would actually be hard to find a bed that was "high".

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

Postby PeterB » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:18 pm

First thing in the morning I am going to scour our local shops for Borneo Camphor leaves.
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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby Pondera » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:39 pm

alan wrote: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!


So, is it the bed that allows you to have a restful sleep? Or do you think it might be due to something else? Are you sure that your own "opinions" haven't been too persuaded by the commercial broadcasts of Sleep Country USA? Why buy a mattress any where else?

If you really believe that getting a good sleep can't occur without at least some kind of mattress then you've either completely bought in to all of the propaganda put forth by the mattress companies, or fail to realize what in life actually allows for a good nights sleep.

Not having a mattress is simply the epitome of not having any singular possession at all. It's not the fact that you sleep on the ground that makes you morally superior and enables you to have a good night's sleep. It's the fact that you have no possessions whatsoever to worry about, which makes you a morally superior person, -independent of the illusion that society casts over its inhabitants, i.e. that you need all of these useless things, when in fact you do not. The freedom from attachments allows you to sleep. That's why my grandma could sleep through a wind storm, in her arm chair. She was a very happy woman. Content. And free.

If people find that they're happy sleeping on a meager type of mattress, or none at all, who are you to blame or critisize them so out rightly, as if you had the answers to everything? Better off are you to understand what it is in their waking that makes sleeping on a bed of thorns so pleasant. It's the people who invest all of their hopes in the quality of their mattress who have the most problems sleeping. So too do their attachments follow them into the land of slumber.
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Re: Precepts: Not eating after mid-day / Avoiding lofty beds

Postby Pondera » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:50 pm

alan wrote: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?


The only person who would be influenced by judgement if you had lived in an Indian cave for 20 years, would be you and your own judgement. The point is that experience leads to knowledge. And you cannot reason a priori without experience.

Your reasoning is inductive, based on premises not supported by experience. Your reasoning is theoretical. Your reasoning applies in theory, but not in practice.

The other type of reasoning is empirical by nature. It is reasoning based on experience. Hence it is knowledge.

Whether you have tried to sleep on a hard bed, or to eat only one meal a day before noon is entirely relevant to what you are actually justified in putting forth as opinions on the topic.

And if you told a person that you lived in a cave in India for 20 years you would simply be lying. You have essentially asked, "Does my lack of experience influence your opinion about what I say or think or hold to be true." Yes! Of course I would be influenced by that. Your lack of experience regarding the matter makes your assertions utterly groundless!
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