Ideas for a strong oath

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby manas » Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:24 am

purple planet wrote:I am trying to take an oath that i will not hear music , not read newspapers ect ect .... and to do everything as much as possible to be as mindful as i can -

i did it once and it turned out good - but i stopped i really believe i need to take it to the extreme (without becoming a monk or going on a retreat) - and by extreme i mean no music or stuff for fun -

I want to do a ceremony so the oath will get stuck in my head - i dont want to take the percpects cause i still kill mosquitoes and i eat all day (i want to eat without the "fun" "greed" factor by eating only mindfuly and only healthy food)

- In short : what i would like to hear are intersting idea on how to take an oath - ways to make it memorable - i would take a "blood oath" - cut my hand to make it bleed a bit but i would defintly would like to heat some other good ideas :lol: like maybe to eat something ect any idea no matter how stupid is welcomed .....


Hi purpleplanet,

I strongly advise against this idea.

There are lots of reasons and I'm sure many have already been covered above (don't have time to read it all now) but one really good one, is that it's kammically very unwholesome to break a strong vow, imho. Basically, I do not make such 'vows' anymore, because there is always the risk that one's resolve or even belief in why it is necessary to stick it out, will waver at some time in the future, and one might then break the vow. And, imho, it's better not to make a vow in the first place, than to make (even a noble) one, but then to break it.

Jus a little bit of advice gleaned from my own previous mistakes

:anjali:
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Re: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby DAWN » Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:38 am

:goodpost:

Dear Purple Planet,
Dont say anything, just put this cake in the trash,if you want to be free of it, do not be conditioned by it
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
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Re: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:46 am

manas wrote:it's kammically very unwholesome to break a strong vow, imho.

No, not at all. Its very naturally that we break a precept. But maybe the problem comes form the misunderstanding of precepts and take them as a vow (promise). We are raised to make promises, we life for promises and we think that we need to keep promises and often put them much higher as simply precepts.

To keep a precept means to let go of promises. A promise is sooner or later a burden, because in the time we gave a promise we did not know nature and its laws. Nothing is for sure, so to make a promise is very unsecure and leads to troubles.

The better and mindfuller one observes silas, the more he/she will understand the problem with promises. So it's good to give up all promises before train the precepts in a good way that they are also improved all the time.

When ever you violate a precept, just renew it and try to do not the same mistake again, which needs the improvement of ones way of live, of course.
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: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:47 am

Dear Purple Planet,
In my simple way of seeing things - I think it best to practice the five precepts well rather than the eight poorly.
Making a decision with strong determination is good but you don't need to be melodramatic with ceremonies and cutting yourself.
Remember the Buddha rejected extreme asceticism.
Also remember, while sila is foundational and crucial, it is only part of the path. You need to also develop samadhi and panna. They are the three legs of the tripod.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:55 am

Ben, I do not agree. The five precepts are mostly not really touchable in modern life (and if, often a situation that is far away form normal quick possibilities) and are soon nothing esle as hypocratical basements for the most (look Vegitarianism...). To abstain for mind defusing things like music, politic, dayly chit-chat goes long before the five precept in fact, as a live totaly involved in such stuff would not easy lead to the prerequiste of right view, through some insight out of bhavana.

When we look for example to the The Discourse to Sigala, we can see that to abstain from such things is not only good for a spiritual growing but also needed for a good worldly life.
We need to be honest that our general ways today are far away form touching even a normal virtuose life. So I would not regard it as a step which is to high, but the base of practice not to say the base of a better sociaty.
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: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby manas » Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:59 am

Ben wrote:Dear Purple Planet,
In my simple way of seeing things - I think it best to practice the five precepts well rather than the eight poorly.
Making a decision with strong determination is good but you don't need to be melodramatic with ceremonies and cutting yourself.
Remember the Buddha rejected extreme asceticism.
Also remember, while sila is foundational and crucial, it is only part of the path. You need to also develop samadhi and panna. They are the three legs of the tripod.
kind regards,

Ben


Well said, Ben. :goodpost:
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Re: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:09 am

Friends, I hope that abstaining from music and entertainment does not mean "extreme asceticism" for you otherwise the whole stuff here looks somehow fare from reach. But yes: Much meditation might help...

Maybe you remember your grandmother and grandfathers, those hardly suffering extreme ascetics.
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: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby manas » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:22 am

Hanzze wrote:
manas wrote:it's kammically very unwholesome to break a strong vow, imho.

No, not at all. Its very naturally that we break a precept. But maybe the problem comes form the misunderstanding of precepts and take them as a vow (promise). We are raised to make promises, we life for promises and we think that we need to keep promises and often put them much higher as simply precepts.

To keep a precept means to let go of promises. A promise is sooner or later a burden, because in the time we gave a promise we did not know nature and its laws. Nothing is for sure, so to make a promise is very unsecure and leads to troubles.

The better and mindfuller one observes silas, the more he/she will understand the problem with promises. So it's good to give up all promises before train the precepts in a good way that they are also improved all the time.

When ever you violate a precept, just renew it and try to do not the same mistake again, which needs the improvement of ones way of live, of course.


Hi Hanze,

maybe you misunderstood what I meant. I was not talking about the five precepts, or eight precepts. I do not see these as 'vows' actually, although I do think we should try our utmost to follow them. I see them as guidance for how we ought to live ethically.

No, I was referring to making a strong and specific, solemn vow, in front of one's altar even, to try to bludgeon as if with a sledgehammer, the particular bad habit, addiction or whatever, by saying "I solemnly swear that I will not....(etc) for (whatever specified length of time)!" This is something of a different order. It's like if you are in a court of law, they will ask you to solemnly swear to tell the truth, etc. It might just be my own opinion, I'm not sure, But I do see this as a bad thing, to break an oath of that nature. That's what I meant when I said, better not to make that kind of oath, unless you are sure you will be keeping it.

But more to the point - why is this necessary? Why can't the OP start by taking eight precepts on full moon days, or full - and - new moon days, or even weekly if he wishes, rather than the 'sledgehammer' approach of a strong vow, trying to force oneself to become 'pure' rather than letting purity develop naturally, as the result of patient, diligent practice over time?

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Re: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:39 am

Mana,

I guess we are somehow on the same level in regard of promises.

But in regard of traditional five or eight presepts, I guess our normal enviroment and livestile is not fit. They are also broadly abserved like Sunday Christians do it, in the countries where the eight precept day is a normal celerbrated day. Nice to be part of a community and give them also some feeling of doing something good. To observe one very good is much better from my view as to addopt traditional usuals.
Step by step but honestly is always good. For example, as long as I can remember, I just focused on that what is called abstaining from lying (everything else seems to be completely normal and out of the need or any special observation. Stealing, sexual misconduct, killing, drugs things which are logical and no base for worries normaly) and anything else came its way. But especially abstaining from endless eating with all our sense is very nessesary to get more intouch with the roots greed, hatred and illusion in our self. We might not see how greedy we are, we would be even so much distracted from the pleasure we gain out of it, that we would feel secure and use the Buddhas technics just as an additional pleasure pool.

If somebody is able to observe 8 precepts its something that is not usual and a bliss, who ever is able to do that will have great benefit from it. I guess it is good to give them some support to have the feeling that they are not alone.

Nobody ever had suffered in addition because he had started to observe precepts. It might be that it seems that things run more worse, but actually its not caused by virtue at all.
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: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:03 am

Hanzze wrote:Friends, I hope that abstaining from music and entertainment does not mean "extreme asceticism" for you.

No Hanzze, it is the 'ceremony' and 'blood oath'.
As I said earlier - it is far more beneficial to practice the five precepts well rather than the eight precepts poorly. If PP wishes to engage in sense restraint as a natural result of practice - that is excellent. But if it is the manifestation of obsessive thinking then it might be better to create some balance in one's practice and in one's life.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:21 am

I guess we can see 'ceremony' and 'blood oath' very dramatic. A strong resolve is nothing bad. I guess PP searches more for a reminder and lesser for freaky rituals with the knife in the hand. But it's maybe good to point that out, crazy things happen everywhere.

Generally that is a very interesting phenomena. If for example people form the modern world come to Asia and see people sleeping on the street, they are shocked, touched and feel quickly the need to help. They would not easly start to think that there are people able to be content with little. So rather than to reflect "why can he live in this way and i am not even able to survive without aircondition" the normal way of thought is "Ohh, what a poor man, we need to help him!". The man is just wondering but happy, even he would not understand what the problem actually is.
After some meetings with the "compassionated" he even believes that he is poor and starts to say by him self "look how i live, I am so poor".

Funny, isn't it?
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: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby purple planet » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:03 am

Just to make things clear - i didnt write things in a clear way until now cause i was nervous

1 . i never planned to take a "blood oath" just to do something memorable - like eating something or listening to something ect .... and my question was to find this cool ideas that are not bodily harmful

2 . i automaticly keep the majority of the 8 preceptss thats no problem for me - but i dont want to take them for some reason like : I dont really care what people think about me and i usually dress bad and comfortable but i learned that people act better when i look good so when i go to work or important places i make myself dress nice - so its breaking the 7 precept but not in a "full" way

3 . if i could do meditation i would not really need to take an oath but because of my back and pelvic i can only be mindful all day and that is extremly hard and from expirence an oath helps a lot

4 . so i have no problem with the "big" stuff but with the "small" stuff like listening to music ect ....
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:08 am

The the seventh seems to be perfect as reminder :smile: Hairs? White? A scarf? :D Little sacrify is needed.

Tears could run down in a way that you even lose the raw self illusion and win streamentry, while shaving your hairs.
Last edited by Hanzze on Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:19 am

Hi PP.

purple planet wrote:Just to make things clear - i didnt write things in a clear way until now cause i was nervous

1 . i never planned to take a "blood oath" just to do something memorable - like eating something or listening to something ect .... and my question was to find this cool ideas that are not bodily harmful

2 . i automaticly keep the majority of the 8 preceptss thats no problem for me - but i dont want to take them for some reason like : I dont really care what people think about me and i usually dress bad and comfortable but i learned that people act better when i look good so when i go to work or important places i make myself dress nice - so its breaking the 7 precept but not in a "full" way

3 . if i could do meditation i would not really need to take an oath but because of my back and pelvic i can only be mindful all day and that is extremly hard and from expirence an oath helps a lot

4 . so i have no problem with the "big" stuff but with the "small" stuff like listening to music ect ....


I think it would be a good idea that you observe the eight precepts on Uposatha Days. For the remainder of the time, concentrate on maintaining the five precepts, including refraining from killing insects, as well as you can. Making yourself presentable for work or to attend an important event is not a breach of the seventh precept unless you are wearing make up and using perfume.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby purple planet » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:27 am

Hairs? White? A scarf?


Hairs- my head is already shaven White - well that is not so presentable but maybe i can wear it at home
A scarf - its to hot here in israel for a scarf but thats i nice idea i might wear an necklace

ben - i am also taking into consideration your idea i might take the precepts
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:39 am

Isreal would be perfect for a white robe on the top, maybe shawl is the proper word for it. Simple clothes are perfect for hot weather and white as well.

Even it is somehow forgotten or even disliked in modern world, but clothes have much influence of once behaviour and mindfulness. Special clothes need special behaviour. Somehow a responsibility that you act like you look.
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: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby purple planet » Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:01 pm

I will make a public oath here - and see how it goes

it will fit my view of life and include the still big doubts i have about buddhism - this is i will commit to my view that i got as an atheist and to swear to further investigate buddhism - this way ill be sure to keep it - at least i hope so

:buddha1: I swear to live my life from now on to help others with no regard to myself i will never do anything for fun but only to help others :buddha1:

:buddha1: I swear to improve myself so i will have more power to help others :buddha1:

:buddha1: I swear not to to get attached to success or loss only to the process of helping others :buddha1:

:buddha1: i will try to be as mindful as possible as a means to help others :buddha1:
Last edited by purple planet on Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby DAWN » Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:31 pm

I give you a light :candle:

:namaste:
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
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Re: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:35 pm

When there was even a Buddha aside, it would be nearly perfect Bodhisattva vow.

Purple planet, promises can make it really difficult to keep precepts. One helps every being just in keeping the simple precepts.
To say it simple, I refuse your promise.

When you make a vow, don't do it for others. If you do not but your self first, you can not help others.
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: Ideas for a strong oath

Postby Ben » Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:59 am

Hanzze wrote:One helps every being just in keeping the simple precepts.


Well said!
kind regards,

Ben
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