Is it wrong to listen to intrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
Post Reply
TryingToMeditate
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri May 20, 2022 10:34 am

Is it wrong to listen to intrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8?

Post by TryingToMeditate »

Hi,

Is it wrong to listen to instrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8? Like relax music, and is it wrong if I sing music in tune only, no words in the music.

Thanks
dharmacorps
Posts: 1899
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: Is it wrong to listen to intrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8?

Post by dharmacorps »

Define "wrong"?

If you are referring to the 8 precepts, the 7th precept includes abstaining from what most forms of entertainment including music.

The precepts are voluntary.
TryingToMeditate
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri May 20, 2022 10:34 am

Re: Is it wrong to listen to intrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8?

Post by TryingToMeditate »

dharmacorps wrote: Sat May 21, 2022 12:00 am Define "wrong"?

If you are referring to the 8 precepts, the 7th precept includes abstaining from what most forms of entertainment including music.

The precepts are voluntary.
I'm keeping sila 8, but sometimes I hum music but no words in it, it just makes me relax abit sometimes I believe, but i want to know whether it's wrong.
dharmacorps
Posts: 1899
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: Is it wrong to listen to intrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8?

Post by dharmacorps »

TryingToMeditate wrote: Sat May 21, 2022 12:05 am
I'm keeping sila 8, but sometimes I hum music but no words in it, it just makes me relax abit sometimes I believe, but i want to know whether it's wrong.
Again what do you mean by "wrong"?

What kind of answer are you looking for? Do you mean like "morally wrong and you are going to hell for listening to music"? No such easy answers in Buddha dhamma. The 7th precept typically includes music though, so you may not be observing the 7th precept in the way it is generally observed. That is the most you could say about it.

I also don't know what "Sila 8" is either. My assumption is you mean the 8 precepts, but I have never heard it referred to in this terminology.
User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 19178
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Is it wrong to listen to intrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8?

Post by mikenz66 »

Hi TryingToMeditate,
TryingToMeditate wrote: Sat May 21, 2022 12:05 am I'm keeping sila 8, but sometimes I hum music but no words in it, it just makes me relax abit sometimes I believe, but i want to know whether it's wrong.
I think that "wrong" is the wrong word to use here.

The basic five precepts: not killing, stealing, etc, are a training to avoid things that lead the harm to others and/or oneself. The extra precepts in the 8 precepts, or the monastic precepts, are not about avoiding things that are "wrong" in the sense of causing harm. They are about simplifying one's life, and avoiding things that are not conducive to a contemplative life. If you are training with those precepts to try to lead a more contemplative live, that's great, but I would not worry about humming being "wrong". If you stared humming in a meditation hall, that would be rather out of place, but in everyday life, not so much. My experience with retreats is that it is easy for various thought, songs, music to pop into my head once my mind has quietened. One thing that helps is doing some chanting at various times of the day. That way, what pops into the head tends to be those chants :
Itipi so bhagavā arahaṁ sammā-sambuddho, ...
https://www.dhammatalks.org/books/Chant ... n0057.html
:heart:
Mike
santa100
Posts: 5060
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Is it wrong to listen to intrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8?

Post by santa100 »

TryingToMeditate wrote:Is it wrong to listen to instrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8? Like relax music, and is it wrong if I sing music in tune only, no words in the music
Understanding the context and purpose behind the precepts would help. For example, the basic Five Precepts for lay folks are pretty much there for one to become a good lay person. But the Eight Precepts bring it up a notch, not only it makes one a good person but also set the preparatory conditions for one to become a good meditator, and eventually developing great insight to break free of bondage. So knowing the context, whether you're silently humming music with lyrics or without, that'd kinda present a hindrance to the overall purpose of the higher precepts. But if all you want to do is to be a good lay person, no need for Samadhi or Panna just yet, then observing just the Five Precepts would be perfectly legit.
User avatar
Ontheway
Posts: 2273
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2021 3:35 pm

Re: Is it wrong to listen to intrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8?

Post by Ontheway »

Musics and songs are okay for layperson taken up Five Precepts. But not okay for those taken up Uposatha Sila (eight precepts).

Enjoy the silence, or can opt for Dhamma talks, Pali sutta chanting (not the melodious ones), and reading out loud the English translation of scriptures.
One may conquer in battle a thousand times a thousand men, yet he is the best of conquerors who conquers himself.

- Dhammapada
User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 6789
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: Is it wrong to listen to intrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8?

Post by Coëmgenu »

Thai chant sometimes gets maligned as "too melodic" (and I want to clarify that I am not accusing Ontheway of this because of the "melodious ones" comment... this should be taken as "further trivia," not as a disagreement), but it is actually very austere. The so-called "melodies" are not composed melodies of chant written by some ancient. They are a curious by-product of Thai tonogenesis. The letters used to write Pali in the Thai alphabet carry with them implicit tones, as far as I understand. When you chant these letters as well as when you speak them, there is a tendency to pronounce the tones according to Thai phonetics (actually "tonetics" here) if you are a Thai.

After this, all we have to do is factor in the curious and near-universal human tendency towards pentatonicism to understand how Thai chant became allegedly "melodic" and pentatonic as well. The "melody" however is a "non-melody." No one wrote it. No one composed it in order that it might "sound nice." It is a completely naturally-arising and unauthored quirk of this regional tradition of Buddhist chant.
I heard it from a friend who heard it from a guy just before last call at the Publican House: Thomas the Bodhi-Wizard abode at Osmow's. Seeing a patron heading to the bathroom, Thomas quickly moved to relieve the man of his selfishly undonated plate. Caught, he spoke:

"'It's yours' is an extreme. 'It's mine' is another.
The Bodhi-Wizard splits the shawarma down the middle.
A sandwich arisen of causes and conditions
is a nonexistent sandwich.
A nonexistent sandwich is a designatory convenience.
This is the riddling way."


The man was awestruck.
User avatar
mjaviem
Posts: 1358
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2020 5:06 pm

Re: Is it wrong to listen to intrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8?

Post by mjaviem »

TryingToMeditate wrote: Fri May 20, 2022 11:20 pm ... Is it wrong to listen to instrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8? Like relax music, and is it wrong if I sing music in tune only, no words in the music...
Why is it important for you? Why do you want to listen to relax music and sing melodies? Why do you want to keep the precept on entertainment?
mikenz66 wrote: Sat May 21, 2022 12:24 am ... it is easy for various thought, songs, music to pop into my head once my mind has quietened. One thing that helps...
One thing that helps is chewing gum.
Coëmgenu wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 1:10 pm Thai chant...
Interesting. :thanks:
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammā Sambuddhassa
Alino
Posts: 628
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:15 pm
Contact:

Re: Is it wrong to listen to intrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8?

Post by Alino »

It is wrong to not desinfect the wound while doing operation?
It is wrong to scratch the wound if you want it to heal?
It is wrong to entertain the chains if you want to get free?
We don't live Samsara, Samsara is living us...

"Form, feelings, perceptions, formations, consciousness - don't care about us, we don't exist for them"
User avatar
mjaviem
Posts: 1358
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2020 5:06 pm

Re: Is it wrong to listen to intrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8?

Post by mjaviem »

AN 4.14 Bodhi wrote: ...
(1) “And what, bhikkhus, is striving by restraint? Here, ... Having heard a sound with the ear, a bhikkhu does not grasp its marks and features. Since, if he left the ear faculty unrestrained, bad unwholesome states of longing and dejection might invade him, he practices restraint over it, he guards the ear faculty, he undertakes the restraint of the ear faculty... This is called striving by restraint.
...
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammā Sambuddhassa
User avatar
mjaviem
Posts: 1358
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2020 5:06 pm

Re: Is it wrong to listen to intrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8?

Post by mjaviem »

SN 35.94 Bodhi wrote: ...
“... The ear, bhikkhus, as a base for contact—if well tamed, well guarded, well protected, well restrained—is a bringer of happiness...”
...
“Having heard sounds both pleasant and raucous,
Do not be enthralled with pleasant sound.
Dispel the course of hate towards the raucous,
And do not soil the mind by thinking,
‘This one is displeasing to me.’
...
“When the mind is thus well developed in six,
If touched, one’s mind never flutters anywhere.
Having vanquished both lust and hate, O bhikkhus,
Go to the far shore beyond birth and death!”
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammā Sambuddhassa
User avatar
Tangent-Man
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:36 am

Re: Is it wrong to listen to intrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8?

Post by Tangent-Man »

dharmacorps wrote: Sat May 21, 2022 12:12 am
I also don't know what "Sila 8" is either. My assumption is you mean the 8 precepts, but I have never heard it referred to in this terminology.
It's pretty obvious what tryingtomeditate means by Sila 8. Perhaps English is not his/her first language? Jeez.
dharmacorps
Posts: 1899
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: Is it wrong to listen to intrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8?

Post by dharmacorps »

Tangent-Man wrote: Wed May 25, 2022 9:50 pm
It's pretty obvious what tryingtomeditate means by Sila 8. Perhaps English is not his/her first language? Jeez.
Probably not, but I didn't want to assume and give misleading answers to a vague question especially when he didn't clarify the first time I asked them.
User avatar
Tangent-Man
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:36 am

Re: Is it wrong to listen to intrumental only music only if I'm keeping sila 8?

Post by Tangent-Man »

dharmacorps wrote: Thu May 26, 2022 7:06 pm
Tangent-Man wrote: Wed May 25, 2022 9:50 pm
It's pretty obvious what tryingtomeditate means by Sila 8. Perhaps English is not his/her first language? Jeez.
Probably not, but I didn't want to assume and give misleading answers to a vague question especially when he didn't clarify the first time I asked them.
OK sorry bro :namaste:
Post Reply