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andyn
05 May 12, 21:30
I've learned that the Buddha only has "No lying" as the precept for lay person, how come when it comes down to Chinese tradition, there were three more factors (No double-tongued speech, No abusive speech, and No frivolous speech) added to the 4th precept? Also, usually most of the books I read defines the "No frivolous speech" as "manipulative speech to cause harm to others or to take advantage of them". But one book by Master Sheng Yen defines "cracking jokes and unbenificial talk" as this category, and he said that with four friends meeting, laughing and joking, they are sure to have committed in the breaking of this precept if they have received the five precepts.

I've noticed that "frivolous speech" is defined by the Buddha as being unwholesome, but in a sense that if you do harm to other (such as spreading gossip behind other people, or to manipulate others to your advantage, etc), but for a lay person, cracking jokes or having casual discussion of sports, entertainment should be OK... I don't like the idea that such casual conversation is considered "breaking a precept", that ought to be for the monastery environment. For lay regular people who have family and friends, I felt that is such a heavy burden... since the only way to not break this precept is to not socialize at all, even to your family member. Is the precept that strict?

Victorious
05 May 12, 21:34
Those extra guards on speech are included in the 10 precepts.

Cheers
Victor

Abhaya
05 May 12, 22:32
This article is a quality reference point for the Buddha's teachings on right speech: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca4/samma-vaca/index.html

In addition to abstaining from lying, the abandonment of double-tongued speech, abusive speech, and frivolous speech are components of right speech. This advice was given to householders and monastics alike. One example of a layperson who was taught about four aspects of right speech is Cunda the silversmith.




Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta (AN 10.176)

"And how is one made pure in four ways by verbal action? There is the case where a certain person, abandoning false speech, abstains from false speech. When he has been called to a town meeting, a group meeting, a gathering of his relatives, his guild, or of the royalty, if he is asked as a witness, 'Come & tell, good man, what you know': If he doesn't know, he says, 'I don't know.' If he does know, he says, 'I know.' If he hasn't seen, he says, 'I haven't seen.' If he has seen, he says, 'I have seen.' Thus he doesn't consciously tell a lie for his own sake, for the sake of another, or for the sake of any reward. Abandoning false speech, he abstains from false speech. He speaks the truth, holds to the truth, is firm, reliable, no deceiver of the world. Abandoning divisive speech he abstains from divisive speech. What he has heard here he does not tell there to break those people apart from these people here. What he has heard there he does not tell here to break these people apart from those people there. Thus reconciling those who have broken apart or cementing those who are united, he loves concord, delights in concord, enjoys concord, speaks things that create concord. Abandoning abusive speech, he abstains from abusive speech. He speaks words that are soothing to the ear, that are affectionate, that go to the heart, that are polite, appealing & pleasing to people at large. Abandoning idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter. He speaks in season, speaks what is factual, what is in accordance with the goal, the Dhamma, & the Vinaya. He speaks words worth treasuring, seasonable, reasonable, circumscribed, connected with the goal. This is how one is made pure in four ways by verbal action.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an10/an10.176.than.html#speech


The Buddha of the Pali Canon spoke with laypeople about the four aspects of right speech, just as he spoke to monks about the four aspects of right speech (as a factor of the eightfold path). The four aspects of right speech are not a Chinese-Mahayana invention.



Magga-vibhanga Sutta (SN 45.8)

The Blessed One said, "Now what, monks, is the Noble Eightfold Path? Right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

[...]

"And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, abstaining from divisive speech, abstaining from abusive speech, abstaining from idle chatter: This, monks, is called right speech.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn45/sn45.008.than.html


As for Ven. Sheng Yen's strict interpretation, that is merely a matter of opinion. A joke exchanged between friends does not necessarily implicate doing harm to either of the parties involved, nor to a potential subject, although there are cases when this may be the case. Frivolous speech does harm by way of distraction. Although it is important to minimize distraction from practice whenever possible, it is unrealistic for a teacher to demand absolute adherence to this, especially for laypeople.

Would you mind providing a reference/context for Ven. Sheng Yen's comment?

andyn
05 May 12, 23:27
Thanks for replying. As far as I know, the 10 deeds are actually not made into precepts though. For householders, I thought there are only the common 5, and the 48 precepts for Bodhisattva way. Theravada tradition does not made harsh, divisive, and foolish speech into precepts. That said, being in the Chinese Buddhism tradition (received 5 precepts as a kid), my concern is with foolish speech, that seems to have a very broad definition, saying things that are "unbeneficial" would be one of its definition. So, discussion of sports, telling jokes... would fall under this category, and my question is if a layperson who do these things break this precept?

What I'm getting at is, I'm OK when this foolish (frivolous) speech is just considered an unwholesome act, but not when it is made a precept. My logic here is that sometime a precept made by the Buddha is not because of its evil nature but because he wanted to prevent his follower into falling into evil act, doing worldly deeds that cause disharmony to the monastery, or to minimize distraction in practice, but if a follower breaks these precepts, he still committed sins. Therefore, I feel like committing sins by having fun with my family and friends, because I do like sport, movies, and telling jokes (not dirty) to make other people laugh, etc...

Sorry, I currently could not find an English reference of Ven. Sheng Yen's comment, I read that in a Vietnamese book.

Victorious
05 May 12, 23:52
Sorry my bad. They arent!

/Victor

woodscooter
06 May 12, 00:14
Andyn,

The way I see it, the Buddha said what he said, as recorded in the Suttas. His words form the basis for the Precepts, and various Masters down the centuries have re-interpreted exactly what is meant.

It seems pretty clear to me that idle chatter is the same as foolish or frivolous speech, and none of it can be included in Right Speech.

When you are talking about sport with your friends or family, or telling a harmless joke, or listening to someone else talking along these lines, your attention at that time is not on the Buddha, the Dharma, the Sangha.

If you are serious about observing the Five Precepts, why would you waste your time on frivolous speech?

I think it is beneficial to spend social time with family and friends, beneficial to the self and to others. But there can be no benefit in changing the meaning of the Precepts to allow a little bit of frivolous speech under certain circumstances.

Esho
06 May 12, 01:21
I've noticed that "frivolous speech" is defined by the Buddha as being unwholesome, but in a sense that if you do harm to other (such as spreading gossip behind other people, or to manipulate others to your advantage, etc), but for a lay person, cracking jokes or having casual discussion of sports, entertainment should be OK... I don't like the idea that such casual conversation is considered "breaking a precept", that ought to be for the monastery environment. For lay regular people who have family and friends, I felt that is such a heavy burden... since the only way to not break this precept is to not socialize at all, even to your family member. Is the precept that strict?

Hi andyn,

Seems to me that this teachings are into the sila group of teachings. Those about ethical conduct. So, as I understand it, this teaching needs wisdom and needs meditation to be undertaken. By itself has no sense and can lead to anxiety and stress.

As meditation progress and matures mind is more and more mindful and aware of what it is doing, thinking, speaking, hearing, touching.

There is a time when idle speech is not seek by the mind, nor frivolous speech or all the non noble ways of speech.

This do not means that from time to time in some occasions a good joke can make us laugh a lot and have a good taste of the ordinariness of human condition getting some insight from it or to have some good time with friends watching a match or a good film. But mind is not attached to those and do not craves for more and more when that time has gone.

andyn
06 May 12, 01:22
As for Ven. Sheng Yen's strict interpretation, that is merely a matter of opinion. A joke exchanged between friends does not necessarily implicate doing harm to either of the parties involved, nor to a potential subject, although there are cases when this may be the case. Frivolous speech does harm by way of distraction. Although it is important to minimize distraction from practice whenever possible, it is unrealistic for a teacher to demand absolute adherence to this, especially for laypeople.

Would you mind providing a reference/context for Ven. Sheng Yen's comment?

Abhaya,

Are you able to read Chinese? I could not find an English reference, but were able to find the original Chinese text here.

From http://www.jcedu.org/fxzd/zgl/jlxgy3.htm

妄语之中的大妄语,除非是不知惭愧不解因果的人才会造次,常人最易犯的是小妄语,最难戒的是绮语;犯两舌、 恶口的机会,不会太多。如有三朋四友聚集一起,兴高采烈,谈笑风生,保证他们犯了绮语罪了(如果他们已受五 戒的话)。所以,修行人应该守口如瓶。

Google Translate:
Lie among the big lie, unless I do not know shame people would be rash not understand cause and effect, the ordinary people most vulnerable to commit a small lie, the most difficult to quit Words and Flowery Expressions; opportunity to commit Liangshe, bad mouth, not too much. If three friends and four friends gathered together, happily, laughing, to ensure that they committed the crime of the Words and Flowery Expressions (if they have been affected by the Five Precepts, then). Therefore, the practice should be tight-lipped.


There's also a discussion here in a Chinese forum http://bbs.jcedu.org/archiver/?tid-2535.html, but I wasn't able to understand much using Google translate.

Abhaya
06 May 12, 02:09
Abhaya,

Are you able to read Chinese? I could not find an English reference, but were able to find the original Chinese text here.

From http://www.jcedu.org/fxzd/zgl/jlxgy3.htm


There's also a discussion here in a Chinese forum http://bbs.jcedu.org/archiver/?tid-2535.html, but I wasn't able to understand much using Google translate.

Hi andyn,

Yes, I am able to read Chinese. I will take a look at the original text and the forum discussion in a bit. Thank you.

Abhaya

andyn
06 May 12, 02:09
Hi woodscooter,

I guess I'm trying to see if that strict sense is applied to the precept or not, by the master who made up this precept, because I learned that the Buddha did not make this into a precept for householder. Also, in my point of view, I don't see this precept (to that strict sense) as being beneficial to my case or many people that I know, because we'll be breaking it constantly and since that is made a precept, we'd commit a far worse crime than its suppose to. And as far as I understand, the no socializing part was to help serious practitioner to focus on the path, not to cause a commoner to feel feel sinful about.

Element
06 May 12, 05:12
Theravada tradition does not made harsh, divisive, and foolish speech into [the five] precepts.
that is correct. the five precepts only include refraining from musavada (false speech; lying) where as the Noble Eightfold Path includes sammavaca (the four aspects of Right Speech)

regards ;D

Element
06 May 12, 05:20
One example of a layperson who was taught about four aspects of right speech is Cunda the silversmith.
Yes. What was taught here was the ten courses of skillful action rather than the five precepts.


These, Cunda, are the ten courses of skillful action.

;D

Abhaya
06 May 12, 05:42
Yes. What was taught here was the ten courses of skillful action rather than the five precepts.


My point exactly. They are components of what distinguishes right from wrong speech among laypeople (as a subcategory of skillful action) even if not included in the official five precepts version.

Abhaya
06 May 12, 05:42
Having taken a look at the original text from Ven. Sheng Yen, it does appear that he took a rather extreme position on the subject.

Ven. Sheng Yen begins his teaching with a comparison of the modern world to ancient times. He states (my translation): 'In terms of today, our world, our society is indeed filled with an atmosphere of lies - between individuals [interpersonally], between nations [internationally] - everyone speaks lies to one another, deceiving each other, in order to achieve selfish purposes.

'In ancient times, the spread of lies was of a limited scope ... Today's human beings have newspapers, telephones, telegraphs, and television as tools for spreading lies - if used cleverly, the power of the lie is far-reaching, [so far that] it is said a lie can fool people all over the world.'

Portions of the relevant passage referenced in posts #1 and #8 include (my translation): 'That to which ordinary people are most vulnerable is the small lie; the most difficult to quit is frivolous speech ... If three or four friends gathered together in joyous laughter (*if any Chinese speakers have a better translation here, please share), this would guarantee they commit the crime of frivolous speech (if they had already received the five precepts). Therefore, the practitioner should be tight-lipped.'

Generally speaking, the fourth precept focuses on lying, as opposed to the four aspects together: 绮语 frivolous speech (idle chatter)、两舌 two-tonguedness (divisive speech)、恶口 bad-mouthing (abusive speech)、and 妄语 lies (false speech). This is not to discount the importance of these other aspects, however.

andyn
07 May 12, 01:47
I would like to ask those who accept the "no frivolous speech" as precept, what is your take on this? Do you think having friends together, joking and laughing is breaking the precept? I've heard that if you repeatedly and intentionally break a precept that you've received, even it's a light one, the consequence would be severe. Also, with this being not officially considered a precept handed by the Buddha, does it need to be treated in the same way?

muji
07 May 12, 07:10
First and foremost, how many people think "white lies" are okay?
For the ease of discussions, let's break into :

a) Intentional Lies - many agreed this is breaking the precept
b) Unintentional Lies (White Lies)

Before we even come to "frivolous speech", we need to clear this topic.

Questions:

1. If "white lies" are acceptable, how do we draw the line?
2. If not, why?

Kindly enlighten !!

Yuan
07 May 12, 07:27
Master Sheng Yen simply meant that if you are having an exciting conversation with 3 or 4 friends, you are bound to commit acts of 绮语 (foolish speech) along the way.
.
Actually, in Chinese 绮语 is mostly considered to be "flattering/flowery comments" and not "frivolous comments." Specifically, "flattering/flowery comments" with a purpose.

Moonfeet
07 May 12, 08:38
1. If "white lies" are acceptable, how do we draw the line?
2. If not, why?

Muji, my initial thoughts on reading your post was 'motivation'.

If, our motivation is 'to do no harm', then sometimes the 'bending' of the truth can sometimes be warranted. But we need to check our motivation thoroughly.

In his book, "Healing Anger", the Dalai Lama says this. Apologies, but unable to find the quote from the book at the time of responding (no doubt it will pop out at me when I'm not actually trying to find it:P)

daverupa
07 May 12, 13:03
Right speech directly prohibits uttering known falsities, and nowhere in the Suttas does the Buddha suggest that lies are a possible result of right intention.

muji
07 May 12, 15:42
Hi Moonfeet,

Thanks for your thoughts. :)

I agreed with you that sometimes, we need 'situational practice' instead of following strictly to the rules.

If we tell lies to benefit ourselves, this is 'defensive'
If we tell lies that harm others, this is 'offensive'

In the case of a doctor telling white lies to 'motivate' the patients, his 'intention' may be good.
But whether it is right or wrong remains subjective, depending on where you are coming from.

Breaking precepts, as mentioned by our fellow members, is not a sin. Neither is it a crime.
A lay person should not measured himself by how well he can keep the precepts.

However, one must be mindful that a precept has been broken and should refrain from breaking it again.
To be able to realize one's own mistake and repent sincerely makes the world more real.

Esho
08 May 12, 02:44
Precepts in Buddhism are not like commandments I have seen torture Catholics or Christians in general.

The five precepts -including the fourth- are about Sila or Ethical Conduct. Ethics is about the development of an inner knowledge of what is wholesome and unwholesome through experience and not from an external imposition.

Sila alone, in Buddhism, is not enough because it needs meditation and wisdom.

A meditative mind, a mind that is aware of... mindful about... is a mind that becomes a lot more sensible and in the case of the fourth precept it feels deeply unwholesome telling lies.

In the same way, the need or the satisfaction of frivolous speech, idle chattering, etc., looses its urgency as this meditative mind develops.

About the fourth precept, one thing is to tell lie and another is to have timing when one has to speak about a fact.

IMO, there is no such thing as white or black lies. Lies are lies.

Timing in speech need practice as it is taught by Gotama Buddha:


[1] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[2] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[3] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.

[4] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[5] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[6] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings."

Abhaya Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.058.than.html)



By the way, Buddhist lay practitioners should practice the five precepts so to live in joy, peace and happiness not harming themselves and harming others but there are cases of Lay practitioners that observe eight and ten precepts when they are inspired and convinced by the way of living of Bikkhus and Bikkhunis.

For this it is needed a delicate, gradual and most of the time a slow progression in understanding, practice and evaluation of results.

The important thing is not stop telling lies but to be aware of how lies taint a mind that is starting to be meditative.

;D

Esho
08 May 12, 02:54
Maybe this link will give some help. It adress the issue of the forth precept even when it is a general commentary to the five precepts of Buddhism:


The purpose of Buddhist moral precepts

There are three fundamental modes of training in Buddhist practice: morality, mental culture, and wisdom. The English word morality is used to translate the Pali term sila, although the Buddhist term contains its own particular connotations. The word sila denotes a state of normalcy, a condition which is basically unqualified and unadulterated. When one practices sila, one returns to one's own basic goodness, the original state of normalcy, unperturbed and unmodified. Killing a human being, for instance, is not basically human nature; if it were, human beings would have ceased to exist a long time ago. A person commits an act of killing because he or she is blinded by greed, rage or hatred. Such negative qualities as anger, hatred, greed, ill will, and jealousy are factors that alter people's nature and make them into something other than their true self. To practice sila is thus to train in preserving one's true nature, not allowing it to be modified or overpowered by negative forces.

The Five Precepts (http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma2/5precepts.html)

Aloka
08 May 12, 07:15
Regarding the subject of the fourth precept, I notice that in a post "The Five Precepts" in Ajahn Sujato's blog, he states the following:



4.To not lie.

Human connections are built on trust. We really hate to be lied to, and once we become known as a liar, our friends will never see us the same way again. But if we always speak the truth, especially when it’s a hard truth, we’ll win respect. We’ll be trusted, and our friends will listen carefully to what we have to say.

http://sujato.wordpress.com/2010/01/16/the-five-precepts/





My opinion is also that whatever our motivation, if we don't have any insight, then telling 'white lies' could have negative results which may be unforseen.

One can also deceive onself into thinking that a white lie is best, when in fact it may be the most convenient course of action for oneself rather than of any real benefit to the other person.

andyn
08 May 12, 10:05
So when I received this precept, the master (who I now have no contact with) did not explain the meaning of this "frivolous speech" concept, in fact, the language meant something like using flattering or flowery comments to take advantage of others, or in some form to bring other down and show off yourself.

From what I read and ask around, everyone in my tradition would interpret that to be the meaning, and no mention of frivolous talk. So now, I've just understand another meaning to this: cannot talk senselessly. That is to say, when I took the precept back then, I did not understand the concept and did not commit myself to guard against frivolous talk.

In that case, would I be considered breaking the precept when I do frivolous talk, now that understand another meaning to this? I'm talking of religious crime, not natural crime/karma.

Regards,

andyn

Aloka
08 May 12, 10:17
So when I received this precept, the master (who I now have no contact with) did not explain the meaning of this "frivolous speech" concept

Hi andyn,

Perhaps the best thing to do if you're worried about it would be to seek advice from another teacher in your own tradition.

As far as my own understanding of the fourth precept is concerned, its about telling lies.

kind regards

Aloka

Aloka
08 May 12, 11:29
Remembering that this is the Mahayana/Vajrayana forum, from a Tibetan Buddhist point of view there's the following information about the 4th precept from Lama Kathy Wesley of the Kagyu tradition in "Lay Precepts: A Brief Explanation".....



All intentional lies are branch violations of the vow of not lying.

However, to completely break the vow, we must intentionally claim to have spiritual achievements that we do not have.

http://www.kagyu.org/ktd/resources/articles/PDFs/Lay%20Precepts.pdf

Abhaya
08 May 12, 18:01
So when I received this precept, the master (who I now have no contact with) did not explain the meaning of this "frivolous speech" concept, in fact, the language meant something like using flattering or flowery comments to take advantage of others, or in some form to bring other down and show off yourself.

From what I read and ask around, everyone in my tradition would interpret that to be the meaning, and no mention of frivolous talk. So now, I've just understand another meaning to this: cannot talk senselessly. That is to say, when I took the precept back then, I did not understand the concept and did not commit myself to guard against frivolous talk.

In that case, would I be considered breaking the precept when I do frivolous talk, now that understand another meaning to this? I'm talking of religious crime, not natural crime/karma.

Regards,

andyn

Hi andyn,

It is not a crime to be human. It seems as though you're doing your best, and your concerns reflect your intentions, so I would not worry excessively. It may be best to discuss this with an offline teacher who might be better able to understand your situation. As others in your tradition seem to share your understanding of the meaning of the fourth precept, they may also be able to lend you support and advice.

Frivolous speech can occur with or without the intention to do harm, and with or without harmful consequences. If you observe instances in which you use flattering or flowery comments to take advantage of others, to bring them down and elevate yourself, then it is important to make an effort to stop. However, a harmless joke or non-Dharma-related chat with friends/family is not a religious crime, even if frivolous talk is discouraged in some versions of the fourth precept.

Good luck,

Abhaya

andyn
10 May 12, 06:11
Master Sheng Yen simply meant that if you are having an exciting conversation with 3 or 4 friends, you are bound to commit acts of 绮语 (foolish speech) along the way.
.
Actually, in Chinese 绮语 is mostly considered to be "flattering/flowery comments" and not "frivolous comments." Specifically, "flattering/flowery comments" with a purpose.

Hi Yuan, I would like to understand what he really meant. Did he meant that in a way of committing the "flattering/flowery comments"? My translation seems to say that by excitingly joking/laughing, you are sure breaking this precept.

Yuan
10 May 12, 08:20
Hi Yuan, I would like to understand what he really meant. Did he meant that in a way of committing the "flattering/flowery comments"? My translation seems to say that by excitingly joking/laughing, you are sure breaking this precept.

In his book (that you linked.) He defined


绮语是花言巧语、诲淫诲盗、情歌艳词、说笑搭讪、南天北地、言不及义等言语

"frivolous speech 绮语 is flowery/clever words (flattery) 花言巧语, instruction of obscenity or thief 诲淫诲盗, passion/love songs and alluring lyrics 情歌艳词, approach strangers with chatting and laughing(jokes) 说笑搭讪, talks of southern sky and norther ground, speech with no meaning (frivolous speech) 南天北地、言不及义"

The negative aspect of the first 2 should be obvious.

For the next two, it is about trying to influence other people, by using emotions and jokes. BTW, 搭讪 (approach strangers) is typically used in Chinese to mean attempting to meet people of opposite sex.

In sum, the first 4 is all about attempting to influence other people, with flattery, with instructions, with emotions and with 'smiles/jokes'.

Finally, I read his words to mean that in a conversation that is full of spirits, and fun and witty (humorous) among 3 or 4 friends, he is sure that these people have spoke 绮语 at some point in their conversation.

He is saying that it is hard for a person in these sorts of situation to be mindful of their speeches. It is easy to say the wrong thing, when you are excited, or try to impress your friends with your wit and humor ...etc. So it is easier and best to keep your mouth closed most of the time.

Next time you have a fun conversation with friends, you can reflect on your conversation later to see if any of these 绮语 have occurred sometime in the conversation.

andyn
15 May 12, 06:04
Hi Yuan, thanks a lot for your explanation, that helps me to see things in a different light. Could I ask you to explain a little more on the joking part (说笑搭讪). I see that joking to influence others to think of bad thoughts (eg. dirty jokes) or feel angry is negative, otherwise, I don't see the negative. I guess the main reason I smile and joke is because I find it necessary to fit in with others, to have a healthy relationship, since if I'm keeping a straight face all the time, I would isolate myself from my family and friends. I think sometime we need jokes to relieve the tension so that we don't feel awkward when we're near each other. I would love to hear your thought on this. It would be great if you have examples along the way.

Yuan
15 May 12, 10:43
One way to look at 说笑搭讪 is to think of it as attempting to influence strangers by having them at ease with jokes and smiles. For example, try to pick up a girl, try to get strangers to "buy stuff." Like offering candy to little kids so they will go with you. But here, it is really about interactions between adults.

andyn
16 May 12, 08:06
Thanks for replying! So, does 说笑搭讪 only apply to strangers, in a way of deceiving them to your advantage? Hmm, then I still don't quite understand Ven. Sheng Yen's comment about 3,4 friends excitingly joking & laughing to break the precept, since your friends would be "non strangers" and you're just having fun, not trying to deceive them... it would also be unusual to sing alluring lyrics to your friends. The other 2: 花言巧语 and 诲淫诲盗, if you're truthful and believe in karma, you won't likely commit these?

One way to look at 说笑搭讪 is to think of it as attempting to influence strangers by having them at ease with jokes and smiles. For example, try to pick up a girl, try to get strangers to "buy stuff." Like offering candy to little kids so they will go with you. But here, it is really about interactions between adults.

Yuan
17 May 12, 03:35
Hi Andyn,

My recommendation is to use some common sense regarding Master Sheng Yen's comments. In an one to one setting, he can probably address your concerns specifically. In a book, he can only use examples and generalizations to make his points, and obviously, cannot apply to every situation.

I think his general point is that if you are excited and having fun, you will most likely lost your "mindfulness"/control or succumb to peer pressure and say or do dumb things. You can be truthful and believe in Karma and still do the "wrong" things, either intentionally or unintentionally. So while on the path, it is good be "mindful" of your thoughts/words/actions, and to reflect on them.

andyn
25 May 12, 06:31
Hi, could someone please help translate these explanations below:

http://bbs.jcedu.org/archiver/?tid-2535.html

引文:“所谓绮语,主要指的是说话浮华夸张,多虚少实(花言巧语、言不及义)。例如社会上一些人说十句 话五句都是假的,说话好夸大其辞,把一件事情给你添油加醋的讲。这是绮语的本意。
五戒十善本来就是给在家人说的,没有那么难作到的。佛法的戒是戒掉一些习气毛病过恶,不是把正常的语言交流 都戒掉。佛法绝对不是那么不近人情的。
一般来说讲黄段子谈说淫妄,说话好带脏话(诲淫诲盗、情歌艳词话),都是属于绮语范围的,那些当然是不能讲 的.但除了这些外我们还是可以讲话生动幽默点的.其实不绮语就是教我们语言文明质朴而已.
仁者所言,恰是圣严法师所说的诠释!请你仔细再看一下原文!所谓的(说笑搭讪、南天北地),是指说一些无意 义的话,也就是通常人所说的侃大山,虚耗时间,浪费生命。据我所知,圣严法师亦是一位风趣幽默 的长者。
( )里内容是后学将圣严法师的解释挪过来的。


无所住兄其实也算是用心良苦,我了解你所说的意思。初学者一般因恭敬心很甚,对未所闻的总是小心谨慎,惟恐 多走一步多说一句都会错,若法师只说及一,其实也没说二三四是错是对,但很容易就认定没说的二三四是错,他 还不能知道法师说一对不一定就是说二三四是不对。
我们知道信佛学佛不只是去拜佛烧香,但我相信的确有很多人是从拜佛烧香入门学佛法的。
其实只要那个初学者的思想不是僵化的,多听几家之言,想法会不断变化完善的。重要的是心态,要保持开放,不 要执死了字面的意思,文字毕竟是有局限的。应该不会有什么大问题。我们对佛学问题的认识是会发展的,大家都 是这样走过来的。圣严法师这么解释的背后可能也就是提醒我们戒在生活中处处时时吧。
持戒行为上严于律已,做到一条算一条,心要开放,比如说圣严法师如是说,三五朋友聊天肯定犯了绮语了,看了 我也不会作注解:聊天是不好的。他也这么说当然我只是以我自已举了个例子,各人不同。无所住兄只是提醒一下 ,想防患于未然吧。