Which Precept is most difficult for you?

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

Which Precept is most difficult for you?

1. To abstain from killing living beings
4
5%
2. To abstain from taking what is not given, i.e., stealing
1
1%
3. To abstain from sexual misconduct
7
9%
4. To abstain from false speech, i.e., lies, divisive speech, harsh speech, idle chatter
55
72%
5. To abstain from intoxicants and harmful drugs
9
12%
 
Total votes : 76

Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby Vepacitta » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:43 am

Murdering spiders. And they bloody well started it! Since I was a child, I never hurt a spider - never. Even if some big, huge, radioactive, mutant spider turned up - I always caught it and set it free. Well, one day a spider bit me - it got septic - I was lucky - no hospital - but it was a bit dodgy. Lymph node the size of a golf ball - heavy antibiotics - for which I'm grateful by the way ... (see gratefulness topic).

So - I try and hedge it - by mixing the native American "I apologise for killing you but ..." thing with Buddhism (yes I know they don't mix) saying, "I'm sorry, have a better re-birth in samsaaaara!!!!!) and then ... y'know ...

I have let a few wee spiders live in certain corners if I know they're not really dangerous. And my cat has protected me from some truly monster spiders we get in this neck of the woods.

Speech - I do love to tell a good yarn .. and off colour jokes

Intoxicants - I do like the fruit of the vine -

O dear - 3 precepts ...!
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Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:30 am

I do like the fruit of the vine -


You like grapes? 8-)
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Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby Vepacitta » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:07 pm

Annapurna wrote:
I do like the fruit of the vine -


You like grapes? 8-)



Why, yes Annapurna I do like grapes - and most especially their concommitant by-products produced by fermentation.

snark-back!
:D
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V.
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Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby Shonin » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:27 pm

Most of my precepts have asterisks next to them
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Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby Chula » Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:00 pm

Just a note, but the 4th precept only includes lying in the five household precepts - not divisive, malicious and idle speech. Those come in as an extension to the main five.

Not that you should do those because of that though. :)
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Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby octathlon » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:16 pm

Chula wrote:Just a note, but the 4th precept only includes lying in the five household precepts - not divisive, malicious and idle speech. Those come in as an extension to the main five.

Not that you should do those because of that though. :)

Hi Chula,

I didn't realize that-- what a relief, eh? ;) :D I will still strive for that goal anyway though. It seems doable for a lay practitioner, ... except maybe the idle chatter one.
:smile:
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Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby shjohnk » Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:11 am

Definitely False speech. But they're connected: I often feel compelled to lie to cover up other misdeeds :toilet: But I'm making progress :woohoo:
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Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby Claes » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:55 am

do I have to choose just one :smile: ?
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Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:09 am

Claes wrote:do I have to choose just one :smile: ?

I was wondering if a reversed and relaxed poll question might be more realistic ... something like 'Which of the precepts do you violate least?'
:juggling:
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Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby suriyopama » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:09 am

To abstain from killing living beings.

- Everytime that I vacuum clean I kill hundreds, or maybe thousands, of acars and other small living creatures.
- If me or my cat had parasites, I would not hesitate to exterminate them.
- When I brush the garden, I do not stop to see if there are insects at every leave (and I know that they are) but I keep it clean.
- In a dirty asian toilet with insects at the floor, what would you do to pee or get a shower without killing them?
- Eventually I kill mosquitos (I tyry to avoid it to some extent, but there is a limit). If you think that you would never do it, maybe you've never been long enough in Thailand, you enjoy being covered with DEET from the feet to the eyes 24 hours a day, or you are not attractive to them ;)
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Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby octathlon » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:29 am

suriyopama wrote:- Eventually I kill mosquitos (I tyry to avoid it to some extent, but there is a limit). If you think that you would never do it, maybe you've never been long enough in Thailand, you enjoy being covered with DEET from the feet to the eyes 24 hours a day, or you are not attractive to them ;)

I used to have a friend who is not attractive to mosquitos. She is never bitten. She loves the outdoors-- her jobs have always been outdoor things like the forest service. We would go camping and she would sit there comfortable as anything, while the rest of us were scratching ourselves like crazy. I wonder if she carefully avoided killing mosquitos in past lives and is now experiencing the fruits of that merit? :D
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Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby suriyopama » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:33 am

octathlon wrote:I wonder if she carefully avoided killing mosquitos in past lives and is now experiencing the fruits of that merit? :D


Yes, sometimes I wonder this too, but I would like to know how to go outside of this spiral :thinking:
Next time I'll give it a second tought
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Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:06 am

2. Musāvādasuttaṃ

82. “Catūhi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato yathābhataṃ nikkhitto evaṃ niraye. Katamehi catūhi? Musāvādī hoti, pisuṇavāco hoti, pharusavāco hoti, samphappalāpī hoti — imehi kho, bhikkhave, catūhi dhammehi samannāgato yathābhataṃ nikkhitto evaṃ niraye.
Endowed with four things, monks, one is dragged off and thrown into hell. What four? One tells lies, one slanders others, one abuses others, one indulges in frivolous talk.

I think our inability to abstain from frivolous chatter is a major contributory factor to not attaining the path and its fruition in this very life. On retreats it is expected that meditators maintain noble silence — i.e. not speaking at all unless it is about Dhamma or essential for communication.

An Exposition of Right Speech

There is no end to talk about worldly matters. It may help our material progress in this life, but it does not lead us out of saṃsāra — in fact, it just prolongs our journey.
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Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby Goedert » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:16 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
2. Musāvādasuttaṃ

82. “Catūhi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato yathābhataṃ nikkhitto evaṃ niraye. Katamehi catūhi? Musāvādī hoti, pisuṇavāco hoti, pharusavāco hoti, samphappalāpī hoti — imehi kho, bhikkhave, catūhi dhammehi samannāgato yathābhataṃ nikkhitto evaṃ niraye.
Endowed with four things, monks, one is dragged off and thrown into hell. What four? One tells lies, one slanders others, one abuses others, one indulges in frivolous talk.

I think our inability to abstain from frivolous chatter is a major contributory factor to not attaining the path and its fruition in this very life. On retreats it is expected that meditators maintain noble silence — i.e. not speaking at all unless it is about Dhamma or essential for communication.

An Exposition of Right Speech

There is no end to talk about worldly matters. It may help our material progress in this life, but it does not lead us out of saṃsāra — in fact, it just prolongs our journey.


Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
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Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby suriyopama » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:17 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
There is no end to talk about worldly matters. It may help our material progress in this life, but it does not lead us out of saṃsāra — in fact, it just prolongs our journey.


:goodpost: Thank you! :anjali:
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Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby Ytrog » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:49 pm

The fourth, most definitely. Most of the time it is how I say things, but sometimes the truth also slips on me. I sometimes find myself in a situation that I lied and regretting it a moment later. I never have the courage to admit it to the person though. Mostly a lie is a product of trying to protect myself from small things, such as telling someone I've done something while I didn't just so they don't bring up the subject again (my parents sometime meddle in things they shouldn't in my view). A bad habit, I admit. I'm working on it though.

EDIT

Oh, and if people ask me why I don't drink alcohol I usually don't tell them about the precepts, but say that I don't need it, had bad experiences and that my friends usually don't drink as well. This is all true, but it is leaving out my prime motivation.
Last edited by Ytrog on Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments


If you see any unskillful speech (or other action) from me let me know, so I can learn from it.
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Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby Laurens » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:19 am

I smoke cigarettes, and sometimes marijuana. That probably makes the 5th precept hardest for me. Not that I'm really trying to keep them any more. My own personal integrity tells me I shouldn't kill, lie, steal and generally be nasty - and I don't think my use of marijuana harms anyone (except arguably myself). I don't feel the need to take any precepts any more.
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

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Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby SDC » Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:40 pm

Laurens wrote:I smoke cigarettes, and sometimes marijuana. That probably makes the 5th precept hardest for me. Not that I'm really trying to keep them any more. My own personal integrity tells me I shouldn't kill, lie, steal and generally be nasty - and I don't think my use of marijuana harms anyone (except arguably myself). I don't feel the need to take any precepts any more.


Check out silabbata-paramasa, Laurens.

You may not feel the need to take any precepts, but that doesn't change the fact that you seem to appreciate that type of behavior. Therefore you are making the choice based on that assessment rather then making the choice because someone else is telling you to do so. And in my opinion that is what the Buddha was trying to convey. We look at our own behavior as compared to what the precepts lay out. We asses what our lives would be like if we behave in that way. If we see the benefits in that behavior, we want to move in that direction.
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Re: Which Precept is most difficult for you?

Postby ezzirah » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:42 pm

I am in the 4th precept camp! The speech thing is one I am just working one. I don't lie, so I considered that part a done deal, but the idle speech and at work sometimes the gossip creeps in to keep good "vibes" going with friends at work. I know I should not, but it is a work in progress....
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