25

The literal meaing there is avoiding fermented drink that causes heedlessness. Surā-meraya-majja-pamāda-ṭṭhānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi I undertake the precept to avoid [that big long word] Big long word happily rendered as "beer-cider-carelessness-intoxication-condition" by Kare. This is talking specifically about fermented things like beer,...


14

The five precepts are an entry-level practice that is designed to help practitioner master basic discipline of self-reflection and self-control. Abstaining from killing, stealing etc. implies basic ability to watch one's mind for harmful thoughts and emotions, and to prevent them from getting acted out. In light of the above, the no-killing rule should not ...


11

In Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, the 5th precept is interpreted mostly as 'do not get intoxicated by alcohol and drugs' for non-ordained practitioners, meaning that it's up to you to know how much you can drink without affecting your mind. Ordained monks are still supposed to take the literal interpretation of the 5th precept and fully abstain from alcohol and ...


10

From the perspective of the 5th precept then the answer would be no. The fifth precepts states I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness But I've often seen this rendered as I undertake the training rule to abstain from intoxicating substances While the fact that it breaks the precept might leave you ...


10

There are many different views on the 5th precept. I'll sum up the 3 main views that I've encountered most: 1. Theravada In this article Bikkhu Bodhi explains that The taking of intoxicants is defined as the volition leading to the bodily act of ingesting distilled or fermented intoxicants.[10] It can be committed only by one's own person (not by ...


10

I would like to answer this not from the perspective of a knowledgeable Buddhist, but from the perspective of someone who has been clean and sober for over 9 years. Disclaimer: I am a recent Buddhist and know very little about the mechanics or the theory of it all. I simply practice daily meditation with the intent of awakening someday in this lifetime (or ...


8

Drinking alcohol (whisky) and eating meat was a part of Tantric empowerments that I was lucky to attend. Teachings on emptiness tell us that on the absolute level all things have no intrinsic existence, everything is perfect and pure as it is and has nothing to do with good or bad. Perceiving alcohol as poison is definitely useful but ultimately we should ...


8

A more literal interpretation is, for example, from Bhikkhu Bodhi "The fifth precept reads: Suramerayamajjapamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami, "I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented and distilled intoxicants which are the basis for heedlessness." Coffee & tea, not being fermented or distilled intoxicants wouldn't break the ...


6

I wanted to include an addendum on to this part of kukkuripa's answer: A distinction is made between intoxication, where one’s clarity is compromised, and simply enjoying partaking of a substance. Alcohol is banned in Olympic shooting events as a performance enhancing drug. Alcohol in small doses helps the shooter remain calm under pressure, focused and ...


6

This is oftentimes an intensely debated precept. Yes, the fifth precept is understood differently by different people, i.e., sometimes people interpret it to mean abstaining from all drugs or all intoxicants. It usually always includes abstaining from intoxication and heedlessness from alcoholic drink though; some people may interpret this as allowing them ...


6

There are many interpretations of that precept. It makes sense to try to understand the spirit of the precepts, rather then the letter only. The precepts are not the arbitrary will of Buddha. They have a function. They protect us from bad karma. The point is to not get intoxicated. Intoxication leads to heedlessness. When we're intoxicated, we do not ...


6

I would skip it, allow me to explain why. Just a little bit of context: Your question touches on a very important point about meditation currently many people see meditation as a simple tool for relaxation, some mix meditation with music, some use it for healthy benefits only, stress reduction etc... there is nothing wrong with that, however in Buddhism ...


6

As a means to realize Nirvana, it is best to not meditate on drugs or use drugs as a crutch for meditation. By first-hand experience I'll say the drugs can be useful to an extent. If you've read "Be Here Now", the author describes how experiences with drugs led to a sort of heightened awareness, and I have had similar experiences. HOWEVER, the author clearly ...


6

You start by saying, "I don't want to consult any doctor about my obsession". I suggest that what you want (and what you don't want) are part of the problem: and should not be considered as a reliable guide for what you ought to be doing. It is your using "what I want" as a guide that has led you into this situation, from which you find ...


5

Let me first explain the original Pāli version of the fifth precept, according to what I learnt from prof. Richard Gombrich, who knows Pāli well and is a Theravāda scholar, but is not a Buddhist. Surāmerayamajjapamādaṭṭhānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi. The last three words are the same for all precepts and mean "I undertake the rule of abstaining ...


4

All Theravada Buddhists abstain from Alcohol. This is well explained in "THE FIVE PRECEPTS" which is a very good read on the 5 precepts. The fifth precept reads: Surā-meraya-majja-pamāda-ṭṭhānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi, “I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented and distilled intoxicants which are the basis for heedlessness.” The word ...


4

That's a row of Chinese Buddha's and Bodhisattva's, so this appears to be a Chinese restaurant. Monastics have always been held to the strictest standards-- there was a very concrete, this-worldly consequence for breaking the precepts-- you would be kicked out of the sangha (or more likely punished by some other means). Where the rules are less straight ...


4

Also, interestingly, in Ram Dass's book, "Be Here Now!", which I just recently read (though it came out in the late 70's, I think), prior to visiting India, and finding his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, he and Timothy Leary did a LOT of LSD, and drugs. His personal finding was that the drugs were awesome in giving him a different view of mind, etc., but he always ...


4

My answer is based on the teachings I got from Vajrayana teachers. It is useful to use a metaphor of a mirror or a screen. Our mind is a perfect mirror and all our experiences are the reflections on that mirror. In our everyday life we habitually focus on and identify with those reflections - when something nice is appearing, we are happy, when something ...


4

Well I feel that it is extremely naive to think that taking recreational drugs can help the mind build empathy. It is almost the same as saying that watching pornography helps build empathy towards women. I know what I say may sound controversial, but I will explain this from a medical perspective. In reality, consuming recreational drugs such as marijuana, ...


4

Conventional reality has an almost unshakeable hold on people leading almost everyone to accept the common game plan of life unquestioningly. For some LSD or other drugs have led them to question their own unchallenged assumptions. Ram Dass nee Richard Alpert, Timothy Leary, Alan Watts and others of the 60s went pretty radically into such experimentation, ...


4

As a general rule of thumb I agree that one should not imbibe before practice. However, it is useful to observe the mind in that condition. What is that like? And again we have such chaotic schedules, you may find that you are free to practice after you have been at an event or out with friends, so why not practice then? I don't see how it could harm you... ...


4

A modern teacher who takes a very broad approach is Thich Nhat Hanh. I became familiar with his "Five Wonderful Precepts" at a Seon temple where his translation of the precepts is used regularly. This is his translation of the Fifth Precept: Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, ...


3

If I can just answer from the perspective of my experience practicing with the Triratna Buddhist Community. We are quite fond of reframing the 5 precepts as their positive counterparts. So the fifth precept of I undertake to abstain from taking intoxicants that dull the mind. viewed positively becomes With mindfulness clear and radiant, I purify my ...


3

I think it's an interesting question and certainly different people have different views. Royokan the Japanese Zen poet wrote about getting drunk amongst his writings about being a dedicated zen practitioner "I send one of the children to buy some country wine/ And after I'm drunk, toss off a few lines of calligraphy." (referenced from the same wiki ...


3

Consuming alcohol or any kind of drug for pleasure and with the intention of being intoxicated will break the 5th precept.


3

Rather than the "fifth precept", I find it stranger that it seems to transgress "right livelihood". Sankha's answer notwithstanding, I like to (I am happy to) see a statue of the Buddha if I walk into a restaurant. A few of the "10 bulls" commentaries imply that Buddhism and alcohol can, perhaps they hope, co-exist. For example, X Entering the City ...


3

Lifelong mental rigidity and dogmatism is much more an obstacle to any Buddhist concept of liberation, than a single drop of alcohol. Methexis's answer seems very thoughtful and balanced to me. Methexis understands the limits of dogmatism, and also understands her/his own self well enough to choose intelligently to take on a strict abstinence from alcohol. ...


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