Today's Uposatha Observance

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

Today's Uposatha Observance

Postby theravada_guy » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:43 am

Greetings all,

Today is Uposatha day and I took the Eight Precepts this morning. I know I've messed some things up, but I haven't broken the first five precepts. I've been sitting on the floor, except when my parents took me out to eat. I've only eaten one meal, at which I did drink root beer, but after that it was nothing but water. When we got home, there were two packages of Dhamma books waiting on me. I opened them up, looked over the books and put them on my shelf with the others. I did accidentally get unmindful and popped in a chanting CD, immediately realized "Oh crap!" and took it out, but on top of that, I, again unmindfully, sat down on the bed, but jumped back up. I've been on the computer, only looking at Buddhist things and talking with the outside world, but not about sexual matters. And, tonight, I'm going to be sleeping on the floor. But I gotta tell you, this sitting on the floor is getting really uncomfortable. I don't have anything for substantial back support and there aren't any plain chairs in my room. This is my first time ever taking the Eight Precepts, and I've done my best, but I know I've still fuddled some things up. I think I read in another thread that breaking the latter three precepts doesn't bring any harm? I do feel guilty about the things I've done accidentally. Any advice on all of this would be much appreciated.

Thanks.
With metta,

Justin
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Re: Today's Uposatha Observance

Postby salmon » Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:33 am

Hey TG,

Well done on your first every Uposatha Observance! Yeah sure, you messed up a bit...but you know what was the "magical" thing? Was that your mindfulness kicked in fast enough for you to BE AWARE. And that is one of the objectives of maintaining such precepts. We become more and more mindful.

I've been observing Uposatha Precepts weekly for about 5 years now...and I still mess up every now and then. I'd take a swig of water while standing up, I'd find myself humming an earworm. But what's important, is that you are able to catch yourself doing it...something which, perhaps, on a normal day, you might not have noticed at all! (like sitting on the bed) So keep at it...and you'll find yourself getting better and better at it.

As for the sitting on the floor thing...westerners will definitely find this tougher to handle as your culture is not one which sees you sitting on floors all the time (unlike the asians). You can still sit on chairs and stools...the key is to not allow yourself to lounge around in a position that allows mindfulness to lapse (and perhaps send you into ZZZ-land)

Good luck!! And may your efforts bring you closer to fruit and path :meditate:
~ swimming upstream is tough work! ~
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Re: Today's Uposatha Observance

Postby theravada_guy » Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:57 pm

Thank you salmon! Very encouraging words! :anjali:
With metta,

Justin
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