Alcohol

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

Alcohol

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:25 pm

After recently having struggles with maintaining my precepts, a spiritual guide suggested I write out a declaration of why I am going to abstain completely from alcohol. I thought I would post what I wrote so that maybe it'll encourage others or help them articulate their feelings towards abstinence.

I do not drink alcohol because I do not want to have a part in an industry that propagates misery and dependence.

I do not drink alcohol because I do not want to encourage a culture rife with promiscuity, violence, recklessness, and exploitation.

I do not drink alcohol because I have compassion for my body and mind.

I do not drink alcohol because, when faced with frustration, anger, and sadness, I can accept and overcome my pain instead of hiding from it behind a wall of chemicals.

I do not drink alcohol because I am smart enough, funny enough, and kind enough to succeed in social situations without the need for any artificial support.

I do not drink alcohol because responsibility, self-control, and heedfulness are foundational aspects of my interaction with the world, not obstacles to be suppressed in the pursuit of pleasure.

I do not drink alcohol because clear comprehension and mindfulness are greater sources of joy than any chemical or any altered state.


I hope that maybe this manifesto or whatever helps other people who might be struggling to maintain their sobriety in an intoxication culture. Stay strong!
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Alcohol

Postby Annapurna » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:23 pm

I don't have problems with alc, but I think it's very good, Lonesome Yogurt! :twothumbsup:
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/
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Re: Alcohol

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:54 pm

Its better to drink yoghurt and be lonesome than drink alcohol and be the life and soul of the party. :)
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Re: Alcohol

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:00 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Its better to drink yoghurt and be lonesome than drink alcohol and be the life and soul of the party. :)

:jumping:
Love it!
And very much like your post LY :anjali: :anjali: :anjali:

I have had issue with alcohol in the past and now can easily sit in a pub without the need to drink :)
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Alcohol

Postby Alobha » Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:56 pm

Abandoning heedless haze,
by abstaining from this maze,
of slavering intoxicants threefold
thus done, Mara takes of you no hold.

Sadhu LY!
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Re: Alcohol

Postby Seeeker » Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:50 pm

Congratulations LY !

I drank alcohol almost daily for 21 years before quitting cold turkey in April 2010, after a meditation retreat. Not a drop since.

Realized I just didn't need it anymore.

I can relate to your struggle and admire your courage.
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Re: Alcohol

Postby Annapurna » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:12 pm

I also stopped quite suddenly, a little while after reading the Dhammapada...
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/
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Re: Alcohol

Postby Annapurna » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:13 pm

It makes me feel clouded now.
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/
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Re: Alcohol

Postby manas » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:51 am

Hi LY,

it's not an easy undertaking, but will have many rewards. I wish you all the best with it. Make sure you get some local 'physical world' assistance if you need it.

I've never really liked alcohol, but my sweet poison of choice was weed, and it took a fair bit for me to finally give that up. In the end if was a few bad experiences that did it. I was lying in bed, unable to get to sleep because once again I felt like I was kind of floating out of my physical body in a very unpleasant way. It was sickening. Plus when I closed my eyes, I could perceive that my aura was sort of distorted and expanded, and temporarily out of my control. I made myself deeply and honestly witness all of these effects, asking myself if this was really worth it.

I don't advocate taking alcohol to the point of such sickening results, of course. But if you do experience any negative effects, do tune in to them with as much awareness as possible. It helps to be able to bring them to mind later on, when you might feel tempted to indulge. If I ever feel tempted to 'call an old acquaintance' and get a hold of some weed, I remind myself of those sickening experiences mentioned above right away, and the fleeting desire soon passes.

manas :anjali:
Primum non nocere: "first, do no harm."
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Re: Alcohol

Postby bella » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:44 pm

From STANZAS FOR A NOVICE MONK by Najarjuna with commentary by Lama Mipham

A Sober Mind

When one drinks alcohol
Mindfulness decreases
And the ascetic becomes uncontrolled
Uncontrolled, the discipline crumbles
Remember the advice of the Master
Intoxication increases negativity
So do not even drink that amount
Held on the tip of a blade of grass


There is an anecdote of a monk before whom was placed a keg of beer, a sheep and a woman. The monk was asked to take his choice between drinking the beer, killing the sheep, or raping the woman. Thinking that drinking was the least of the three evils,he drank the entire keg of beer. So, however he lost all awareness. He then killed the sheep and raped the woman as well.

It is because of incidents like this that the Buddha said:"A member of my monkhood should not drink or pour for another even the quantity of alcohol that can be held on the of a blade of grass. A monk that drinks is not fit to be a practiticioner of the Dharma and I would not be his teacher."

I enjoy this teaching as a warning against the danger of alcohol abuse!
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Re: Alcohol

Postby Skeptic » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:28 am

I have tried to stop drinking alcohol many times, but was never successful completely. Many times I had periods of abstinence, but this was mostly when I was in the rural parts of country, away from my friends. Few months ago I was even able to spend my time with friends without alcohol when they were drinking. But again, not much later I started to drink some beer occasionally. Now I am going to try again not to drink, altough even now I'm not drinking much.
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Re: Alcohol

Postby James the Giant » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:36 am

I don't drink alcohol because the fifth precepts says not to.
I don't have any other reason than that.
I used to like a nice cold beer after work, and I home-brewed for fun, to save money, and share with friends. For me, alcohol has been a good part of my upbringing, good times with friends, etc.
I guess I've been lucky, not really had any negative experiences with it.
But no longer. It's been a bit more than 2 years now teetotal.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Alcohol

Postby mynameisadahn » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:02 pm

thanks lonesomeyogurt! the 5th precept has also been an issue for me, and it is good to declare/affirm one's intent.
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Re: Alcohol

Postby JackV » Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:15 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:After recently having struggles with maintaining my precepts, a spiritual guide suggested I write out a declaration of why I am going to abstain completely from alcohol. I thought I would post what I wrote so that maybe it'll encourage others or help them articulate their feelings towards abstinence.

I do not drink alcohol because I do not want to have a part in an industry that propagates misery and dependence.

I do not drink alcohol because I do not want to encourage a culture rife with promiscuity, violence, recklessness, and exploitation.

I do not drink alcohol because I have compassion for my body and mind.

I do not drink alcohol because, when faced with frustration, anger, and sadness, I can accept and overcome my pain instead of hiding from it behind a wall of chemicals.

I do not drink alcohol because I am smart enough, funny enough, and kind enough to succeed in social situations without the need for any artificial support.

I do not drink alcohol because responsibility, self-control, and heedfulness are foundational aspects of my interaction with the world, not obstacles to be suppressed in the pursuit of pleasure.

I do not drink alcohol because clear comprehension and mindfulness are greater sources of joy than any chemical or any altered state.


I hope that maybe this manifesto or whatever helps other people who might be struggling to maintain their sobriety in an intoxication culture. Stay strong!


Do you know what I so wish that you had posted this last year when I was taking the step to cut out alcohol. I think an exercise such as this is incredibly useful. I found it quite difficult to seperate the act itself with the life and relationship/events that it takes part it. The two are really tightly connected and so by focusing on alcohol and why you are choosing not to drink it makes it much clearer for you when dealing with a situation.

Now I haven't touched alohol for some time it's easy to just say "dont do it" as some posters on here unhelpfully suggested to me, but this itself and the exercise of writing it out I hope will be very benificial to to other (I may even use this with a friend who, whilst not abstaining for 5th precept reasons, needs to cut alcohol out of their life)

Thanks (^_^)
Here where a thousand
captains swore grand conquest
Tall grasses their monument.
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Re: Alcohol

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:01 pm

If you are having trouble controlling your drinking you should go to an AA meeting. Its just the easiest most straightforward solution. It works.
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Alcohol

Postby Hanzze » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:06 pm

Two quotes from Ajahn Fuang are maybe be up to topic and maybe an inspiration:

*** A young man was discussing the precepts with Ajaan Fuang and came to number five, against taking intoxicants: "The Buddha forbade alcohol because most people lose their mindfulness when they drink it, right? But if you drink mindfully it's okay, isn't it, Than Phaw?"

"If you were really mindful," he answered, "you wouldn't drink it in the first place."

*** There seem to be more excuses for breaking the fifth precept than for any other. One evening another student was conversing with Ajaan Fuang at the same time that a group of people were sitting around them in meditation. "I can't observe the fifth precept," he said, "because I'm under a lot of group pressure. When we have social occasions at work, and everyone else in the group is drinking, I have to drink along with them."

Ajaan Fuang pointed to the people sitting around them and asked, "This group isn't asking you to drink. Why don't you give in to their group pressure instead?"
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Alcohol

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:47 pm

As the song says "I drink alone, yeah / With nobody else / You know when I drink alone / I prefer to be by myself." All you really have to do to give up drinking is spend some time sober in a bar and watch how ridiculous people behave when drunk, and realize that's how you look. That's the cure.

Image

BB
Been there, done that, threw up on the bouncer's T-shirt
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?
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Re: Alcohol

Postby JackV » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:10 pm

:goodpost:
Ha ha. It's so true. I can't bear to be out places where there will be loads of drunk people now and I suppose at the time that seemed like part of the problem, that I wouldn't want to go to these places. How things change
Here where a thousand
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Tall grasses their monument.
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Re: Alcohol

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:03 pm

I disagree BB
I looked like the guys in the top photo
proof
Image
the fact I am sat down and clinging onto a friend to stay upright is evidence I looked cool! in 1999 (I think it was) :twothumbsup:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Alcohol

Postby Digity » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:55 am

What do you guys do when friends invite you out for a beer? Do you justgo and order a club soda?

I ask because I want to cut out alcohol totally, but I still feel the social pressure to drink. I feel lame that I even give into this pressure...although, I think I'm on the road to eventually cutting out alcohol for good. I barely drink as is, but have not totally abstained.
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