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Thread: Take what is useful. What have you implemented and what have you discarded?

  1. #11
    Together with a couple of friends, I once took the five precepts formally with a Tibetan teacher for a period of one month.

    (In the fifth precept, recreational drugs and tobacco smoking were included as intoxicants, as well as alcohol .)

    However, as has already been mentioned, in the end one is answerable to oneself when one takes precepts, rather than to another person.

  2. #12
    Forums Member KathyLauren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trusolo View Post
    If I am not mistaken, the four precepts are against lying, stealing, sexual misconduct, and I forget the fourth one.

    I have never taken any precepts formally, not even come close to it. When you take precepts, do you have to be answerable to the person who gives them to you or you are on your own in terms of following them. I guess the latter.
    The Five Precepts are to refrain from killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct and consuming intoxicants.

    People in today's society move around, so being directly answerable to your preceptor is not always practical. I am sorry to say that I do not even remember the name of my preceptor. But I take commitments seriously, hence my decision not to make one that I didn't think I could keep.

    Om mani padme hum
    Kathy

  3. #13
    Forums Member trusolo's Avatar
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    I am guessing the same issue will arise with consuming meat or eggs etc. Ultimately, I do think that a Buddhist quote (probably fake) I read a long time ago is valid. “Its not so important what goes into your mouth but what comes out of it”

    well more or less - apart from intoxicants.
    Last edited by trusolo; 30 Nov 19 at 22:29.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by trusolo View Post
    I am guessing the same issue will arise with consuming meat or eggs etc. Ultimately, I do think that a Buddhist quote (probably fake) I read a long time ago is valid. “Its not so important what goes into your mouth but what comes out of it”
    This topic in our Buddhism and the Environment forum might be of interest to you:

    https://www.buddhismwithoutboundarie...3-but-obsolete

    .

  5. #15
    Forums Member trusolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    This topic in our Buddhism and the Environment forum might be of interest to you:

    https://www.buddhismwithoutboundarie...3-but-obsolete

    .
    Thanks Aloka,
    Interesting read and discussion.

  6. #16
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    Hi trusolo
    My take on your question is rather different in that I try to look for results of my practice. What is it I used to do or think or say in situations which I no longer do? Is my practice successful because I adhere to rules I've chosen to follow or because certain patterns of behaviour arise naturally as a result of my practice? One example is that I used to get angry when shop assistants didn't know what they were doing, but I now just smile at them and remain friendly. They still don't know what they are doing, but the experience, for both of us, is better overall.

    Both ways work. When you choose to apply rules to change what you do, this brings about lasting changes to the brain and is self-reinforcing. When you choose to make changes to your brain through meditation and mindfulness, this brings about lasting changes to the decisions you make and your behaviour, which again is self-reinforcing. of course, this doesn't mean you can't do both.

  7. #17
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    The layperson's precepts all boil down to "cause no harm" from my experience.

    When I drank mind altering substances, I damaged property, did my work unskilfully, and could easily have been involved in vehicular homicide.

    When I spoke like a fool, I hung out with other fools, and did foolish and harmful things.

    When i was employed as a trained killer in the military, I killed and advised others how, when, and where to kill.

    When I availed myself of prostitutes, I took advantage of the poor and enslaved simply to provide myself with pleasure, perhaps leaving my own progeny behind in the same conditions.

    There is no greater act of theft, or violence than to take the life of another in mortal combat.

  8. #18
    Forums Member trusolo's Avatar
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    Hi Phil: I can relate to your example. I used to be very patient with my students and then probably because of jadedness I started getting more terse and less patient with them. I am now beginning to get back to how I was in the beginning of my teaching career. Thanks for your reply. I like your take on the question - will try to incorporate your approach in mine.

    Hi Ron: Thank you very much for taking my question seriously enough to reply in such a manner. There is nothing I can say that will constitute a commensurate reply but let me still share my thoughts. I am very grateful that you shared your experiences and insights with such honesty. I wish I had your level of honesty. Your one post has been more thought provoking and instructive than many books I have read. I am usually a hyper curious person but on this occasion I will resist asking further questions on your post and spend some time thinking about it.

    I have learned a lot from all of your replies and I thank you all. I am beginning to understand what putting precepts into practice means. How the implementation can be refined to higher and higher levels. Also how each person has to shape their own path based on their life experiences.

    I would still welcome more comments because I still think there are lots of angles from which this issue can be seen and addressed. Thank you all again.

    With Metta,
    Trush
    Last edited by trusolo; 02 Dec 19 at 03:27.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by trusolo
    I am beginning to understand what putting precepts into practice means
    This is an article by Gil Fronsdal about the five precepts:

    "The Pragmatism of Five Precepts":

    https://www.insightmeditationcenter....five-precepts/


    .

  10. #20
    Forums Member trusolo's Avatar
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    Thanks Aloka,
    That was a nice article.

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