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136505Re: 5th precept

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  • epsteinrob
    May 14, 2014
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      Hi Dieter.

      RE: Thank you, Dieter. There is a little irony in what I said, and some truth too. The attachment to sensuality is of course a difficult one to break.

      D: yes, therefore this fetter is said to be abolished by the Once –Returner .
      I think we should take care to reach the state of Stream-Enterer first and better avoid to imagine what one could eventually miss .

      RE: One of the things I have enjoyed most about dsg in particular is the hard-nosed understanding that we can't force ourselves to change, but that change must come about gradually through a very long natural process. While that is not an excuse to run around doing things that one already knows are very bad, it does give us a sense of patience and realism about our current involvements and impediments. It's good to be realistic, but hopeful, if one has faith in the gradual process.

      It appears to be *very* gradual...

      I had some very powerful sorts of spiritual experiences in the past, and I was sure at certain times that I must be just on the verge of sudden enlightenment. As it turned out, those experiences, like all others, leave their mark and then go away and become the object of thought. In gradually understanding this, one can have some peace about the coming and going of *all* experiences, no matter how good or bad.

      Hopefully, though one is tending towards more kusala, even if very slowly, though development of awareness, and attention to the teachings.

      Eating meat is a good example. I could decide I had to be more "spiritual" and force myself to stop eating meat, and be very unhappy about it, but feel good that I was "changing myself." But this would be a forceful imposition on what's natural for me at this time. So I try to be mindful of where I'm getting my food, and buy free-range eggs and that kind of thing so I'm participating in less suffering rather than more, but I accept my status at the present time. [Not to say that eating meat has to be abolished, but just using it as an example of a sensual attachment.]

      D: You certainly know the story of the fox and the grapes being too sour, don’t you?

      RE: Yes, If I were to say "meat is bad" and stop eating it, while still desiring to eat it, it would be very easy to fall into a self-righteous posture on the whole issue. I've seen that happen quite a lot when people adopt a hard moral stance on some things. On the other hand, some issues require a very strong moral stance, but that should not stop one from understanding what is actual in the situation and simply become judgmental. In most cases, perception is preferable to inventive thinking.

      A joke along these lines from the New Yorker - two women are sitting and talking at a cafe´ and one is saying to the other: "I've only been gluten-free for a week, and I'm already incredibly annoying." [With apologies to my friends who really are allergic to gluten.]

      Rob E.

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