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22572Re: Precepts

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  • christine_forsyth
    Jun 1, 2003
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      Hi RobM, Victor, James, KenH, and All,

      I took a copy of my original post and the replies (except KenH's
      which I hadn't yet seen) to a small Buddhist discussion group this
      afternoon. Everyone agreed on the importance of Sila and the fact
      that all three 'legs' of of buddhist practice must be in evidence and
      in balance.

      RobM: Thank you for your advice - on reflection, I see that one
      should never be complacent about sila - unusual circumstances that
      undermind restraint can pop up at any time. I'm not sure I agree
      about lying being the most difficult precept to keep - this caused
      some discussion this afternoon. Some thought that an alcoholic may
      find the precept against intoxicating drugs to be the hardest, others
      thought it depended upon accumulations in general. Generally, people
      were concerned about other aspects of the Precept concerning Speech.
      This group ('the first Sunday of the month mob') wondered where it
      actually says that frivolous speech breaks the precept. And there
      were varying ideas on what frivolous speech actually is... They felt
      that more good comes out of what others (me :-)) might see as their
      frivolous speech, i.e. friendly supportive teasing, ironic
      understated humour, which creates lasting bonds. (Todays group
      included some of the Aussie blokes who also go to Cooran.)

      Victor: Thank you for your links. I printed Thanissaro's
      article 'The Healing Power of the Precepts' and they all took a copy.
      We had a stimulating discussion - particularly about the two kinds of
      denial when we don't measure up to certain standards of behaviour.
      [We all knew 'someone else' who fitted the description. :-)] The
      paragraphs about the Precepts being practical, clear-cut, humane, and
      worthy of respect, met with approval. One of the group, Klaas who is
      over eighty years of age, and is a volunteer lecturer in The
      University of the Third Age, intends to include some of the ideas and
      expressions in his next set of introductory talks. He liked the
      article. :-)

      James: :-) Thanks for your kind words :-)

      KenH: I don't disagree with your words - "there
      is a description of how mind states come and go by
      conditions. An understanding of that description, is
      the most potent condition for kusala states to arise now
      and in the future."
      BUT I still don't see how that is any different to other forms of
      practice (sitting meditation, keeping sila). Who is it that
      understands, and how do they go about gaining understanding? It
      reminds me of the question that I asked at Cooran ....
      "How are we to
      live an 'examined life if there is no-self, no-control?'
      Even 'listening to the true dhamma, reflecting ... discussing with
      Admirable friends ... and practising in accordance with the true
      Dhamma, seems to imply 'someone' who can have 'some control' and 'the
      ability to choose, plan and do' to some extent."

      metta and peace,
      Christine
      ---The trouble is that you think you have time ---

      --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "kenhowardau"
      <kenhowardau@y...> wrote:
      > Dear RobM and Christine,
      >
      > Rob wrote:
      > > Examine the conditions that caused you to break a precept.
      > > Make a mental note to watch out for those conditions in the
      future
      > > and try to avoid falling into the same pattern that led you to
      > break
      > > a precept yesterday.
      >
      >
      > Obviously, that is good advice but is it the best advice?
      > There is no self who can learn from her mistakes and try
      > harder in the future. But, thanks to the Buddha, there
      > is a description of how mind states come and go by
      > conditions. An understanding of that description, is
      > the most potent condition for kusala states to arise now
      > and in the future.
      >
      > Sorry to be nit-picking, but we must remember that the
      > Middle Way is like no other:-)
      >
      > Kind regards,
      > Ken H
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