this subject is so controversial i cant get a solid explanation. i am retrying an attempt to find better advice on the subject of continuing unorthodox methods that are controversial if they are truly of benefit to the individuals practice. (even if they may commonly be detrimental to others.)

  • 'truly of benefit to the individuals practice'? could you explain this point?
    – Rabbit
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 14:52
  • as in... it helps... with practice.
    – A Nonimous
    Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 15:02

3 Answers 3


Given that the fifth precept specifically refers to substances that cause "intoxication and carelessness", such a hypothetical substance would of course not violate it, no.

  • I didnt think so. Thanks Bhante. I e been getting a lot of benifit from Monk Radio and all your videos, so thanks for that also... :0)
    – A Nonimous
    Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 14:59

Food substances like Water, Carbohydrates, Fats, Sugar, Protein, Minerals, Vitamins etc. don't violate the 5th precept. They actually nourish the body, if taken in appropriate quantities. That is helpful for the development of the mind as well. Is there anything specific you are referring to?

  • oh i commented down there... new to the site.
    – A Nonimous
    Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 14:55
  • Sati is not recollection. Sati is awareness. Buddhism promotes the right awareness. One can exercise the mind to increase memory capacity. While using a supplement for it does not break the 5th precept, it can cause an addiction. An addiction can be a hindrance to the progress in the path. Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 16:27
  • Recollection of being attentive to the four foundations of satipatthana might help give a better understanding of my meaning (or view of sati).
    – A Nonimous
    Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 16:56

Such a substance already does exist, it is called Camellia sinensis also known as ... regular tea! This traditional drink of Zen-Buddhist monks stimulates the mind and enhances one's ability to stay mindful, without causing intoxication or carelessness.

The biographical tradition is littered with apocryphal tales about Bodhidharma's life and circumstances. In one version of the story, he is said to have fallen asleep seven years into his nine years of wall-gazing. Becoming angry with himself, he cut off his eyelids to prevent it from happening again. According to the legend, as his eyelids hit the floor the first tea plants sprang up; and thereafter tea would provide a stimulant to help keep students of Chán awake during meditation. (Wikipedia)

  • Sankha... what im specifically talking about is irrelevant. But the question clears up the use of all kinds of herbal supplements in oriental holistic practices. Take ginko for example... no intoxication, increases bloodtlow to the brain which is said to enhance mental capacity and aid in memory... Sati = Recollection... a faculty of memory.
    – A Nonimous
    Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 14:38

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