How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

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Dhammanucara
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How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Post by Dhammanucara »

How insistent/determined are you in observing your fifth precept?
A. Not even a sip of alcohol, but allow it to be used as supplementary ingredient in cooking
B. Not even a sip of alcohol AND not used in cooking as well
C. Do entertain some small amount of drinks in social gathering with friends, family or business
D. Do entertain some small amount of drinks in social gathering, provided that the drink is not too heavy
E. Do entertain drinks in social gathering (to avoid conflict or estrangement, etc.)
F. Do entertain drinks in social gathering, and occasionally drink at home too
G. Entertain drinks in social gatherings and often drink at home.
H. None of the above/Others

Maybe it would perhaps be better if you could also tell (if it's convenient for you) why you choose a certain option (e.g. A or F), any problem that you face with your choice of option and how you respond (if you did) to that problem.

Let me perhaps start with mine. I choose "A" - that is, not even a sip of alcohol but allow it to be used in cooking. I choose this option because I hold the view that I should try to abstain from intoxicants/alcohol at the best of my ability, so I should not even be tempted to drink a sip. However, growing up in a culture where alcohol is pervasively used, I couldn't avoid but to allow it in the cooking. With this choice, I certainly face the problem of being estranged from my friends since I grow up in a drinking culture; however, I don't think I have a concrete solution to deal with it. The most I could do is that I told my friends that I valued my heedfulness more than anything else. Also, since this is a matter of my principle, I often try to persuade my friends to accept my decision by telling them to look at me as if I am a vegetarian (even though I'm not): if vegetarians could be determined through their conviction of their beliefs and principles about vegetarianism to avoid meat consumption, I should also learn their way of determination, and am hopeful that one day others could view my alcohol-avoidance as much as they view vegetarianism. HOWEVER, this is only my personal view, and I certainly don't expect anyone to agree with me.

P.S. I initially thought of doing a poll, but since I was also interested in knowing the reason(s), problem(s), and response(s) behind one's decision, I did not do using the poll. Sorry for the inconvenience though!

With metta,
Dhammanucara :namaste:
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Virgo
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Post by Virgo »

All renunciation is about the wisdom that naturally sees the disadvantages in lobha, dosa, and moha. Not in particular actions but in lobha, dosa, and moha. That is to say that drinking, for example, is caused by lobha (usually) for the pleasant feeling. Not feeding that lobha is wholesome. However, there can be akusala, unwholesomeness, when wisdom doesn't really understand that it (drinking) is a drawback because it is lobha, not for any other reason. In that case, we may think we are awful for taking a sip. That is not the case, but if there is understanding of the lobha, we will refrain from taking even a sip, through wisdom. Otherwise, we do it out of aversion which is unwholesome. Likewise, we then have lots of dosa if we do take a sip, which is unwholesome again (unwholesomeness never helps on the path). Instead, in a case like that, there should be wisdom which sees the drawbacks in the dosa and doesn't heavily chide oneself for engaging in the action, but realizes it was going against what is worthwhile and calmly decides not to do it again with firmness and dedication. So here it is all about understanding lobha, attachment, and dosa, aversion, with wisdom. Unwholesomeness is never the path.

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Jhana4
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Post by Jhana4 »

I was straightedge before I got into meditation so it is a non-issue for me.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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altar
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Post by altar »

I'm more lenient now than I was. Although it's basically the same standards, of only used in cooking, I have contemplated having a beer at some point in the future or wine on occasions. So for me it is A, but looking at my options. And i like it in cooking :smile:
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Ytrog
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Post by Ytrog »

Option B: no alcohol at all
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.
mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments
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nobody12345
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Post by nobody12345 »

B. Not even a sip of alcohol AND not used in cooking as well
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ground
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Post by ground »

I accept alcohol as an ingredient/excipient in medicines (plant extracts and similar).

B. Not even a sip of alcohol (with the exception s. above) AND not used in cooking as well

Social gatherings I find are actually one main reason to refrain from alcohol and to apply alcohol in cookings is an instance of sensual attachment ("refining" the taste of food). If one wants to make food more "palatable" one may use herbs but not alcohol.

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Reductor
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Post by Reductor »

A. The wife only occasionally adds it to food.

I avoid all uses of alcohol because habits are easy to aquire and hard to shake. And i have three immediate family members in varying stages of alcoholism. It is way too easy to use it as a crutch in differing roles: easing social anxiety, helping with insomnia, forgetting a persistent trouble or just avoidance of boredom.

And it seems that each above reasons is better dealt with in some other way.
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Ben
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Post by Ben »

A. Not even a sip of alcohol, but allow it to be used as supplementary ingredient in cooking

Very occasionally - so long as the alcohol has an opportunity to evaporate out as part of the cooking process. If it isn't - such as a brandy-laden tiramisu - then no I won't use it in cooking either.
I'll also take alcohol if its a component in medicine - if there is no non-alcohol based alternative.

As for social gatherings - I've never had any issue with anyone wishing to cause me problems because I'm a non-drinker. In fact, I find most people are very accommodating.
kind regards

Ben
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cooran
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Post by cooran »

Hello all,

A little bit of extra information about the types of sura and meraya:

The fifth precept deals with intoxicants (sura and meraya). How many types of intoxicants are there? What are they?

There are ten types of intoxicants, five of sura and five of meraya.
Alcohol (sura)...
1. made from flour,
2. made from sweets,
3. made from rice,
4. made from yeast,
5. made from a combination of ingredients.
Fermented (meraya)...
1. made from flowers,
2. made from fruit,
3. made from honey,
4. made from sugar-cane,
5. made from a combination of ingredients.

In the fifth precept, no mention is made of drugs such as opium and marijuana. If one is observing the Uposatha or nicca sila (the Five Precepts as a permanent practice) and indulges in these substances, does one break the precept?

The precept is broken with the use of opium and marijuana. Brandy, champagne and other spirits (even though not specifically mentioned) are included in sura and meraya; if used for medicinal purposes in small amounts, not causing one to become inebriated, then the precept is not broken.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... satha.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

with metta
Chris
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PeterB
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Post by PeterB »

I have a glass of wine from time to time or a beer in warm weather.
That is my interpretation of the precept...one glass does not make me anymore heedless than I would be anyway. I am not advocating it for others. Neither am i likely to respond to homilies. Its "F" for me.
Last edited by PeterB on Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nyana
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Post by Nyana »

A. Not even a sip of alcohol, but allow it to be used as supplementary ingredient in cooking

Not that I very often have the opportunity to eat the type of cuisine which would include alcohol as an ingredient, but I wouldn't be worried if I were offered a meal which did.

Also, no marijuana or other narcotic drugs.

All the best,

Geoff
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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Post by Khalil Bodhi »

I practice B: None at all, not even in cooking. Fortunately my wife's side of the family is Muslim so I don't even have to worry about alcohol in any of the foodstuffs or medicines at heir house.
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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PeterB
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Post by PeterB »

( off topic )

Is it just our pc or are other people finding that some posters avatars are obscuring part of their post ?
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Bodhisurfer
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Re: How Insistent Are You in Observing Your Fifth Precept?

Post by Bodhisurfer »

Funnily enough I was only thinking this morning that of all the Five Precepts, for me, the fith is the easiest :smile:
having been a recreational drug abuser in the past, I see no significant differance between alcohol and any other recreational drug. I dont drink alcohol nor use it in cooking, however, after over 16 years of alcohol abstinance I wouldnt be that put out to discover that something I'd eaten had contained alcohol. so I think the answer for me is B? :smile:
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