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Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation? - Dhamma Wheel

Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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mettafuture
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Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby mettafuture » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:16 am

I've never had a drink, and likely never will.

I was just curious.

:toast: <-- root beer

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Ben
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Ben » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:20 am

Hi MF

I think we discussed the question of the fifth precept not long ago. You might want to look it up to get the range of views you are looking for.
A search for "fifth precept" should locate the thread.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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mettafuture
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby mettafuture » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:26 am


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Dan74
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:39 am

There was a more contentious one (in this subforum?) as I recall, where Ben and I locked horns... :jedi:

;)

PS of course if you don't drink I see absolutely no reason to start, or even wonder about it. Enough challenges in this life already without looking for new ones, if you ask me. As for idle curiosity/opening a can of worms, what is a Buddhist (is there an official definition)? Well, there are many people who consider themselves Buddhist and practice to various degrees as well as drink occasionally (eg ME!). Is this in line with the teaching? Is this harmful? Is this something to be avoided? Is this at the top of priorities as far as practice is concerned?

For me: No, Yes, Yes and No. It's a question of degree. Personally staying too long on this machine is far more harmful to my practice than a monthly glass of wine.
_/|\_

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Viriya
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Viriya » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:04 pm

If you're after a simple answer: no. The fifth precept clearly prohibits alcohol in any quantity for those who uphold it, except when it is consumed unknowingly or as an essential ingredient in medicines.

But then again, if you were into black and white legalistic prohibitions without explanation, Judaism or Islam might be more your style ...so I doubt that such an answer will be particularly satisfactory.
I'm not very good at right speech, although I try, so please guide and correct me if necessary so I don't make bad kamma for myself and cause others to be annoyed. (=

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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:18 pm

a simple answer ? Some can and do. Some cant and do. Some cant and dont. Some can and dont.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:22 pm

[quote="Viriya"]If you're after a simple answer: no. The fifth precept clearly prohibits alcohol in any quantity for those who uphold it, except when it is consumed unknowingly or as an essential ingredient in medicines.

No it doesnt....

It doesnt mention alcohol at all
It talks about that which causes heedlessness. For many many people a glass of wine or beer does not cause heedlessness. For others they do.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Hanzze
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Hanzze » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:03 pm

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*


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

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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:49 pm

I know people who if they think that they may go out for a drink on any particular day do not take the 5th precept that day.
And crawling on the planets face,some insects called the human race.
Lost in time
Lost in space
And meaning

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Sobeh
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Sobeh » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:08 pm

That's the main issue, for me: did I intend, today, to follow the fifth precept? If I did, then I cannot later renege and decide to interpret the precept with a loose eye, but if for example there was a party or other social engagement (a faculty meeting, perhaps dinner with the boss) I would have to decide if certain of the precepts were something I felt pressured to avoid on this occasion or that. This means that, prior to a reiteration of the precepts, I decide which precepts I'm likely to break. This, of course, is an occasion for examining Right Livelihood...

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mettafuture
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby mettafuture » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:32 pm

I take a very cut and dry approach when it comes to interpreting the precepts.

"I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness."

If you undertake to refrain from doing (to not do) something, there isn't any room for sips.

And a question everyone who drinks should ask themselves is "Why?" Why do you need to drink? And if it's the taste you enjoy, why can't you just have a non-alcoholic version of that drink? My guess is many drinkers, even casual drinkers, enjoy the buzz. The alcohol relaxes them. It "takes the edge off." But having a consistent meditation practice, and developing the 4 brahmaviharas can have the same calming effect.
Last edited by mettafuture on Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ben
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Ben » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:42 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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adosa
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby adosa » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:36 pm

"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

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retrofuturist
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:55 pm

Greetings,

I find that it's detrimental to mindfulness, both at the time, and it interrupts any cumulative mindfulness that may have been developed recently. I find that mindfulness needs to be a 'habit' and alcohol interrupts this.

That said, I don't find questions like "Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?" particularly helpful... I think it's more important to understand and address the (generally negative) causal relationship between alcohol consumption and Dhamma practice. Through understanding the relationship, lifestyle decisions can be made intelligently, rather than through resorting to techniques such as blind adherence, proclamations, generalisations, guilt and shame.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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mettafuture
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby mettafuture » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:16 pm

Last edited by mettafuture on Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dan74
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:21 am

_/|\_

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Sobeh
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Sobeh » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:26 am


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Dan74
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:35 am

_/|\_

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bodom
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby bodom » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:22 am

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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retrofuturist
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:27 am

Greetings Bodom,

A nice quote there, demonstrating the causality involved.

:thumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine


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