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Abstaining from Alcohol

LostSoulLostSoul Veteran
edited October 2011 in Buddhism for Beginners
Hello :)

I have a problem with the whole "abstain from drugs" piece of the moral system in buddhism. I don't call myself a buddhist, but sometimes think maybe I should. I guess its really just a label, and all that matters is my path.

Why is alcohol such a no-no in buddhism? I understand that it sometimes leads to unskillful action, and from what I understand this is the only reason not to drink (as buddhism is concerned). Yes, its unhealthy, but really everything is unhealthy.

What's the wrong in having a good time? If I have no attachment to alcohol, or heck any drug for that matter, and my using that drug does not harm another or lead to unskillful action, why must I abstain from it?

Just curious. I doubt I will stop drinking anytime soon, as I'm still young and have a lot of life ahead of me. If this means I can't be a buddhist, so be it, but I'd like to hear your reasoning.

Comments

  • Another thought - what about drugs such as caffeine? Tobacco (I've heard about monks using tobacco back in the day for meditative purposes)? Chocolate? Fast food?

    There's a ton of things that could be qualified as a "drug". Why limit yourself to not eating any "drug", where you could instead be focusing on more productive things like avoiding otherwise unskillful actions.
  • buddhism is the path towards awakening the mind by clearing away aversion, ignorance, greed, lust, etc.
    a drug alters consciousness.
    how are you going to see clearly if you're mind is altered.
    in a way your mind is already altered because it cannot see clearly. you're just adding more shit onto it.

    whatever you do, do it with 100% mindfulness. whether it is food, drugs, mountain dew, etc.

    learn from it.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    Do a search on how often this has been discussed. 5th precept, alcohol, drugs.
    The bottom line is, that if you are wilfully taking any product which has mind-altering effects, on a purely recreational and voluntary basis, you should be questioning your motives and actions.
  • "All experience is preceded by mind, led by mind, made by mind." ~ The Dhammapada

    Drinking-- certainly in excess-- clouds the mind.
  • That's good and all, but what do you guys do when you go to parties?

    Its pretty fun to let go of being so perfect all the time, you know.
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited October 2011
    You are not required to vow not to take alcohol. As you said its just a label ;) The purpose is quite numerous, and you are right to ask why not to drink alcohol. Alcohol affects the body and mind. It is not conducive to meditation. At the same time you can be a meditation master and drink alcohol, but it is unlikely 1% chance that happen.

    There are other reasons not to drink alcohol. It lends you towards activities that waste time such as going to the bar and wasting time. Remember, moderation :) I am not saying never, just some people their whole life revolves around drinks after work and that is sad. Another reason is the grossly sickening states of mind and actions that come from extreme intoxication. This includes embarassing which disturbs the mind, again meditation etc.. Or destroying the body and relationships. Not to mention the carpet.

    But don't think you cannot get interested in buddhism IF you drink alcohol. Some will say its all or nothing but that is WRONG. Getting involved in buddhism can benefit you whether or not you drink. And buddhist methods can help overcome craving and addiction either to make a more moderate happy drinker. Or to cure an addiction/alcoholism.

    Thats the one thing I want to say is that you can practice buddhism whether you take that vow (precepts) or not. And I will unleash great vengeance on any who contradict me on that point... just kiddin


  • I don't go to parties :orange: LOL --but that's only because I'm just an introvert by nature (nothing to do with Buddhism LOL)

    But none of this has anything to do with "being perfect"-- its just a matter of what you value in your practice. Some things are more skillful than others. The precepts aren't a Buddhist equivalent of the Ten Commandments. Getting drunk is not conducive to practice.
  • It's your path, just realize the effects these have on your "mindfullness", and make the call for yourself.

    I personally enjoy beer, but I only drink one... I'm a big guy, so I'm not getting drunk, not even a buzz. I believe a small amount of alcohol, such as a glass of wine with dinner, is actually good for your digestion.

    My body is sensitive to cafeine, and I know it alters my mood and thinking, so I limit my intake.

    Getting fat from fast food could alter how you feel about yourself, thus altering your moods, concentration and health.

    Recognizing how each of these effects you is probably the best first step... then the question to you is what your willing to do about it.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    That's good and all, but what do you guys do when you go to parties?

    Its pretty fun to let go of being so perfect all the time, you know.
    First of all, I'd be the very last person on earth to define myself as 'perfect' simply because I choose to not drink.

    Secondly, I have worked as a barmaid.
    there's nothing more off-putting than seeing the transformation of a person, who goes from being a decent, coherent, genial and sociable person, to a slurring, incoherent, unsteady, vomiting degenerate whose language would shame a trucker.
    All in the space of a couple of hours.

    (and I know a couple of truckers.....)
    It's lack of discipline, self-control and dignity.
    None of which have anything to do with Buddhism, and everything to being a co-operative and law-abiding member of society.

  • Alcohol is not inherently 'unhealthy'. There are loads of well constructed research studies proving the medical benefits of low to moderate alcohol consumption.

    In Buddhism it's about the middle path.
  • I would say that since alcohol can lead to addiction, that is why it is bad. Having a drink here and there should not be bad, but anything that can be an obstruction to right view can be harmful to the practice overall. An addictive mindset is quite the opposite mindset of the Buddhist path.
  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless I say "pop" and "you guys" but live in the American SW Veteran
    i like the word "unskillful" in regards to things like alcohol. regardless of how you feel about abstaining, you can agree that it may be unskillful, right? an example: last time i drank, i argued with my best friend over some stupid crap. granted, this happens all of the time and there are no lasting effects from our arguments(we're more like siblings), but it appears to me that alcohol really brings out my ego. i have a harder time taking the high road and just saying, "it doesn't really matter to me." it becomes hard for me to admit i'm wrong or even just bow out gracefully from the argument. i'm also prone to foot-in-mouth syndrome as it seems to break the filter in my mind that is supposed to be there saying, "hey, maybe you shouldn't say this..." for these reasons, it is unskillful to me.

    in my opinion, if your drinking is "having a glass of wine/pint of beer with dinner", and you don't get drunk, then it's not really the same thing.
  • I agree with @zombiegirl - having a beer or a glass of wine with dinner, or a small bourbon afterward isn't the same thing as getting smashed or becoming an alcoholic. But only you know where the line lies for you. Part of the skill is learning where the line is.
  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless I say "pop" and "you guys" but live in the American SW Veteran

    Secondly, I have worked as a barmaid.
    there's nothing more off-putting than seeing the transformation of a person, who goes from being a decent, coherent, genial and sociable person, to a slurring, incoherent, unsteady, vomiting degenerate whose language would shame a trucker.
    All in the space of a couple of hours.

    (and I know a couple of truckers.....)
    It's lack of discipline, self-control and dignity.
    None of which have anything to do with Buddhism, and everything to being a co-operative and law-abiding member of society.

    i know exactly what you mean. i waited tables for years in a bar and after a while, it just really started to wear on me. i hated serving the alcoholics that would stay all day, every day. it's depressing.

    my father was an alcoholic so i have a real aversion to drunks. when i'm sober and interacting with drunk people, this weird thing happens to me and i have trouble remembering the fact that i am now an adult and them being drunk shouldn't matter to me. but it fills me with such anger and depression because i have all of these memories of my childhood and just wishing my father was there for me instead of passed out on the floor, or whatever. every drunk person reminds me of my father, especially those close to me. this is my personal struggle, to not be filled with contempt around drunk people.
    That's good and all, but what do you guys do when you go to parties?

    Its pretty fun to let go of being so perfect all the time, you know.
    i usually drink. i usually regret it.

    you don't have to lean on alcohol as a way of letting go. i have a few friends that do things other than drink to have fun and i really cherish those times. but i understand that in most social circles, a party means drinking. i used to use alcohol as a crutch for "letting go" as well, but i also used to have low self esteem. people depend on alcohol to let go because they are afraid of judgement otherwise. it's easy to say, "yeah, sorry man, i was just SO drunk." this is an aspect of my personality that i have worked on so that i no longer need alcohol so much. sober kareoke is my current project. my stage fright used to be so extreme that my throat would constrict making me sing very poorly, but i'm much better at this now.
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    That's good and all, but what do you guys do when you go to parties?

    Its pretty fun to let go of being so perfect all the time, you know.

    I did that in college and the end result was always dumb behavior, nauseousness and a headache. Doesn't sound like fun to me! Who in their right mind considers vomiting all over themselves to be fun? Not me! :D

  • ToshTosh Veteran


    What's the wrong in having a good time? If I have no attachment to alcohol, or heck any drug for that matter, and my using that drug does not harm another or lead to unskillful action, why must I abstain from it?
    If you're not attached to drugs or alcohol, then let it go and don't consume them!

    And nothing is wrong with having a good time, but why do you equate that with drugs 'n' alcohol? Can't you have a good time without them?

    From my drinking days, the only reason why I drank was because I didn't like the way I felt sober, but now I can change the way I feel without using mind altering chemicals.

    Why do you think you drink or take drugs? And how sure you're not getting attached to them, incrementally, more 'n' more?



  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran
    edited October 2011
    I have crossed the line under the influence of alchohol. And I did it at parties.

    I agree with Ajahn Punnadhammo:

    The Fifth Precept is to refrain from taking intoxicants. Drink and drugs dull and befuddle the precious human intellect. Leading to heedlessness they are the root of many other wrong behaviours and much personal and social misery. Buddhism is all about sharpening and clarifying the mind which is the exact opposite of what we get from alcohol or marijuana etc. Those who think they can make progress on the path and indulge in intoxicants are only fooling themselves. And there is no ground for the view that a little doesn't hurt. We wouldn't consider applying this standard to the other precepts; a little bit of killing or stealing for example. A small pile of dung still smells like dung. The right amount of drink is none.
  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran
    I'm still sort of going through it and I know where you're coming from. I'm not saying your crossing a line of ethics or anything.
  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran
    edited October 2011
    I heard Osho say once that he doesn't let his 'disciples' bring in drugs or alchohol because it destroys their peace, dulls their minds and makes them stupid. I'm just saying maybe it's best to let go of things sometimes

    I wish I had some blissful meditation experiences to remember rather than nothing but a bad story :P.
  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran
    I know that's not totally your case, I'll say one more thing to end my semi-rant.

    I think to understand why the Buddhist view would be put effort into giving up intoxicating yourself you would have to have some experience with 'the path' and have a decent understanding of it.
  • i have experience with intoxicants and meditation so i'll offer you this tidbit.

    my opinion is that this rule was setup not so much because of the 'let loose-ness' that alcohol induces but because of the lingering effect it has on our ability to fix the mind in mindfulness or concentration. i've found that the use of alcohol and pot, alcohol moreso, really inhibits our ability to fix the mind in 'mindfulness' and to a lesser extent inhibits the ability of the mind to fix in concentration. regular pot use also makes deep concentration very very difficult. sometimes even for days afterward... let alone while you're under the influence,

  • There have been many (in) famous teachers of Buddhism that drank alcohol, and some drank quite a bit. I think the one that started the Naropa Institute in Boulder Colorado, died of an alcohol related disease. I have known many Buddhist 's who drink, and sometimes a little too much. I use to drink and sometimes too much, and the worst part is not remembering what you have said to people, and the hang-over the next day. :) It is not a right or wrong thing morally, but it can lead to some unhealthy consequences, even death.
    For many people it is a phase. Usually a social phase. "I mean all my friends drink when we go out." Well, we grow older and those friends go on down the road. Another negative about drinking a little too much is that usually our behavior changes, and our self-control slowly diminishes. There can be some embarrassing, and costly ( even karmic ) consequences do to tipping a few too many.
    None of us are perfect, and we all have questions about some aspect of our behavior. Maybe the Buddhist practice of non-judgment could apply to these imperfections. When it is time these behaviors will just pass away, like a cloud in the sky. On the other hand, if any behavior is causing you or other people harm, it is probably a wise thing to get some help changing that habit.

    Good Luck whatever you do, but IMO you can still practice Buddhism and drink alcohol.
  • Alcohol is not inherently 'unhealthy'. There are loads of well constructed research studies proving the medical benefits of low to moderate alcohol consumption.
    Where?

    Why is alcohol such a no-no in buddhism? I understand that it sometimes leads to unskillful action, and from what I understand this is the only reason not to drink (as buddhism is concerned). Yes, its unhealthy, but really everything is unhealthy.

    What's the wrong in having a good time? If I have no attachment to alcohol, or heck any drug for that matter, and my using that drug does not harm another or lead to unskillful action, why must I abstain from it?

    Just curious. I doubt I will stop drinking anytime soon, as I'm still young and have a lot of life ahead of me. If this means I can't be a buddhist, so be it, but I'd like to hear your reasoning.
    Screw the precept. Develop the right mindfulness and you will see it drop away. The reason in my opinion that this is a precept is exactly because it keeps up the kind of dependent thinking you are describing.

    The "goal" in Buddhism is to end suffering, and learn the behavior/thinking so that you can live in compassion, happiness etc. If you do drugs, alcohol, whatever - you are binding your happiness on those things. The idea is, it is possible to be free from suffering regardless of the situation. This is done by practice - if you are unhappy, you stay with the unhappiness until it burns itself out - then you see how the feeling (or may be other feelings also) actually develops; what made it appear, what made it grow, what made it fall away.

    By indulging in drugs (or toys, or any distractions) you are not being with your experience and thus cannot learn why and how it happens. Because our inner worlds are so connected with what we do, it may also cause you to miss mistakes you may make and repeat them - often in cycles. When you are aware, you can thus easier see what you really want in life, who your friends are, what you enjoy etc and can thus make better decisions (for yourself - always keep in mind that your path is your path and not someone else's!) and enjoy life with less suffering.

    See how alcohol comes in - usually its a slight sense of boredom, or whatever, or doubt, or whatever. Then you are under the influence of the drug, and you miss however the situation developed. Thus it is hard to learn from it, and the "happiness" becomes more and more dependent on the external object - alcohol, new car, whatever. Having a good time has nothing to do with alcohol or whatever. Kinda hard to explain, you have to work it out a couple of times to see what happens - maybe try not to drink sometime on purpose, to see what comes up and how this passes into something else and changes again, comes back, passes away, disappears?

    Or just ask yourself: What do drugs mean to me? Do i feel it is right to drink?

    Don't just dismiss it with a learned thought. Feel your body, how do you feel while you ask those questions? Those very slight and subtle feelings are part of the root of stronger feelings and thoughts that may arrive even days later. Do you want to feel them then? If you don't like the small feeling, stop doing things that cause them, and thus prevent bad situations from growing.


  • I don't think my view is very mainstream as far as buddhism goes, but I don't personally don't see much wrong with alcohol use as long as it's in moderation. Getting completely smashed is a bad idea, and not just from a Buddhist perspective. My opinion is that it's ok in moderation as long as you avoid breaking other precepts and recognize that it will most likely cause you to be less mindful.

    It's also important to avoid attachment to alcohol. Don't become dependent on alcohol to experience happiness and just be mindful of the difference between use and abuse.
  • Buddha would not have bothered what you eat or drink, or what you wear....
  • Thank you guys, some funny responses here :)

    @mithril that was a very interesting post, and maybe some other time I'll come back when I'm less tired and I'll be able to understand it more hopefully

    And I understand that happiness does not depend on alcohol, drugs, cars, etc. Its just, I find that life is a little more... "fun"... when I have these things. It might just be an attachment that I'm still holding, from my previous ego-filled desire days, but I suppose time will tell.

    Honestly, I do find it a little easier to cope with things with drugs sometimes. My head feels like there is so much pressure sometimes, that I just need a release, and its hard for me to do this more "naturally". I'm hoping, the more I practice buddhism, the more naturally I will "let go" - maybe one day I'll just let go of everything. I guess that's what nirvana is, wouldn't that be nice...

    And for those who said does drugs/alcohol feel "right" to me - you may be shocked to hear, but I think its every persons right TO drink, TO do drugs, TO indulge in their hearts content. I don't think cocaine should be illegal, or heroin for that matter. It would eliminate so much crime. People do it anyway.

    Now, maybe that still doesn't make it "right" in my eyes - but I honestly don't know what is right. My moral system is so fucked up I could drown somebody tomorrow if I really wanted to, and would be able to go on with my life normally. I'm sure I'd feel some guilt, but I've pretty much destroyed most of what's left of my conscience. Sometimes I feel sad for myself, but I just go day by day and see where I end up.
  • I think that this is one of those things that I've gone over and over again with myself. I grew up in a LDS family; so alcohol, tea, coffee and all drugs were off the table for me. I didn't have my first alcoholic drink until after I was married at 22. I've lived the greater part of my life abstaining from drinking so it wasn't difficult for me to just not drink. Sometimes I'll have a very lightly alcoholic concoction with one of my friends. But overall this is just one thing that I don't fight on. I'm just not into getting black out drunk. It's been an interesting experience though, because growing up I really did believe that everyone who drinks were alcoholics.
    In my experience I've found that people really need to find their own footing on the subject without being pressured/scared into a certain pattern. Mainly because I think that people should understand their own boundaries and respect that they need to make a choice to avoid certain habits. I don't feel like the overly restrictive environment I lived in growing up helped me understand myself.
  • mithrilmithril Veteran
    edited October 2011

    Now, maybe that still doesn't make it "right" in my eyes - but I honestly don't know what is right. My moral system is so fucked up I could drown somebody tomorrow if I really wanted to, and would be able to go on with my life normally. I'm sure I'd feel some guilt, but I've pretty much destroyed most of what's left of my conscience. Sometimes I feel sad for myself, but I just go day by day and see where I end up.
    Rest assured, you cannot destroy your conscience, and that is regardless of what you may do. And don't worry, your moral system is alright. Now if you only let that conscience have a word, you will not need to doubt your moral system anymore.

    What i find, feeling in such a way is usually a consequence of our conscience telling us to do something that is either contrary to our views about survival (as in job, career) or the views of the society we were brought up in (that we should want to help some people, that we should have certain morals, views on drugs etc. Morals, as they are in Buddhism, are a consequence of practice, not the cause of it. You feel kindness to all people as a consequence of understanding how people really are, not because you force yourself to put up with people you hate for example).

    You feel you should be in favor of prohibition of some drugs, and should not contemplate murder as something possible. Don't worry, if you stay with those and investigate them, you will see that at their root they may have nothing to do with what they seem - maybe you feel you could murder because something you are doing just doesn't feel right and you just want to quickly destroy it? If you stay with it, a good, right, timely solution will come up, maybe to something you didn't even think was a problem in the first place but now you see you have to do something about it... But you cannot think them (the solutions) into existence, and you cannot think them away. You know what is right, now stop screaming over it telling it it does not exist.

    In Buddhism, murder is not right or wrong - it is just something someone does, with consequences depending on the mind of the person who did it. The idea with not killing as a precept comes from the fact that it is extremely rare for someone to kill a being in mindfulness - usually it is rather with complete avoidance of what that person feels is right and forcing it past that. It is common that people who have done murders will thus feel intense doubt, guilt, or negative feelings about what they have done; it is because they are pushing what they know is right away with ever grater force, but feelings have to be fully experienced if they should pass away. Thus they will keep coming back at ever greater force.

    The same will be (although to a lesser extent) with only thinking contrary to what society thinks is agreeable - deny your thoughts on murder, and they will come again and again, until you experience them at their root and in full (i don't suggest acting on them, because of consequences as i've previously explained them). But don't get too serious about it - all experience is transient after all.

    And if my posts seem hard to understand, don't worry, most people think they are^^
  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran
    dont get all negative about yourself cuz you partied and drank a few times

    The best I can do now is to suggset find a teacher.
  • Hi, my name is Lui, and I am a new member. I read Shanyin's comment about Ajahn Punnadhammo's teaching with interest (A small pile of dung still smells like dung). I enjoy cooking and in certain types of stews that I prepare (for example, beef bourguignon), I use wine/alcohol. I don't get a high from eating stews cooked in wine. What's Buddhist teaching on the use of alcohol in cooking?
  • With cooking it gets cooked out. Some desserts would be considered against the fifth precept however... Though few have enough alcohol to intoxicate.

    The point is if it intoxicates or not :)
  • Thank you Jeffrey. I am a beginner so I may have strange questions, please bear with me. Therefore, with so many questions arising from people from different parts of the world, Buddhist teaching appears complicated, unclear, extremely idealistic when drawn to our real world lay person day to day living conditions. If I drink a glass of wine without food and get intoxicated slightly but well behave, where does that leave me? But if I drink 3 glasses of wine (of lower alcohol content) with full stomach and does not get intoxicated, will 3 glasses to OK for that situation?
  • I use to be of the "well in moderation it's ok" mindset. I'd have a beer every now and then. But something I've discovered: as time has went one the less and less attraction alcohol has held for me. Even before I had discovered Buddhism I stopped drinking much because I hated feeling like shit from it. That lose fun on Saturday night just wasn't worth the headache and toilet hugging on Sunday morning. So from them I'd only drink a beer of two when I went out with ether cola or water for the rest of the night. Then I wouldn't drink at all when I'd go out, only at home. I preferred then to keep my senses sharp when I was out of my home and had noticed even a bit of alcohol impaired that. Eventually it got to the point where it just doesn't hold any attraction to me at all. Even the taste of it is repellent to my tongue now, and I can do without the blunting of my senses.

    But that's just my own experience. Not telling anyone else what they should or should not do.
  • I don't think cocaine should be illegal, or heroin for that matter. It would eliminate so much crime. People do it anyway.
    I've seen up close and personal what heroin and cocaine can do to a person far too many times-- and how it affects their friends and families and the community. There's good reason that certain drugs ought to be illegal (and perhaps certain drugs that are classified as "legal" hat the pharmaceuticals push too). The real crime lies not in the taking the drugs but in the sale of them.

    Legalising murder and theft would also reduce the crime rate, you know...
  • ToshTosh Veteran
    edited October 2011
    I stopped drinking much because I hated feeling like shit from it. That lose fun on Saturday night just wasn't worth the headache and toilet hugging on Sunday morning.
    Sigh! You'll never achieve the status of 'alcoholic' with a mindset like that. You've got to fight through it, what kills you cures you. And as an alcoholic myself, we consider ourselves the 'elite' of all mental health problems!

    Personally, I cannot relate to this sort of thinking at all.

    Kind regards,

    Tosh

    (Recovered alcoholic whose just having a little joke).

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    ......I enjoy cooking and in certain types of stews that I prepare (for example, beef bourguignon), I use wine/alcohol. I don't get a high from eating stews cooked in wine. What's Buddhist teaching on the use of alcohol in cooking?
    With cooking it gets cooked out. Some desserts would be considered against the fifth precept however... Though few have enough alcohol to intoxicate.

    The point is if it intoxicates or not :)
    Incorrect: Not all alcohol gets burned out in cooking.

    "The conventional wisdom accepted by just about everyone in the food world is that all the alcohol you add to a dish evaporates or dissipates during cooking. It’s wrong. In fact, you have to cook something for a good three hours to eradicate virtually all traces of alcohol. And some cooking methods are less effective at removing alcohol than just letting it stand out uncovered overnight."

    From Here: http://www.ochef.com/165.htm

    I don't believe there is any Buddhist teaching on use of Alcohol in cooking.
    But the link gives accurate information, so go with what your feeling dictates....


  • It takes a long time for alcohol and drugs to work its way out of the bloodstream. The whole time, it is effecting your ability to have full awareness. Awareness is such a wonderful gift. As practice grows, it is not about following some rule, it is about wanting to always be in a state of higher consciousness. Why would I want alcohol or drugs? They cloud my vision, and make the light inside of me grow dim. Drugs and alcohol do me, and those around me, a disservice. They are a form of running away from e mind instead of looking inside of it. They are contrary to practice.
  • This is all about personal choices. With anything you need to look at on what role does this play in your life and what are the impacts if any. This is were the mindfulness comes in so that you can evaluate what you feel your needs, and your desires are, and how those things have an influence on who you think you are or who you want to be.

    For me it was easy to give up alcohol and drugs once I started meditating in earnest, since I saw how they had an impact on my practice. I do drink a cup of coffee every morning and I do smoke a cigar from time to time. Oh, and by the way on a good hot day, I will drink a beer. But my days of drinking to I am buzzed or drunk are long gone.

    With this path it's about finding that middle zone where you no longer crave but yet your still not adverse, you need to find what works for you and your path.

    And just have an understanding that this to will change.
  • from Mangala Suta Uannana (Highest bless) - by Ven. K. Gunaratana Thera:

    To Abstain From The Indulgence In Intoxicants Is Most Blissfull
    Intoxicants that is of liquor and other spirits is a deadly enemy. It has to be checked in time to lesson the strength it might gain before it becomes deadly. This enemy operates from within and lies low for the right moment to strike. Keep a careful watch and do not for a moment relax, for however trifling it may be, once the habit gets a firm hold on the man, suffering is evident.
    It is best to refelect on the consequences that a man when infatuated with intoxicants would cause himself to:

    1. Lose whatever wealth he possesses
    2. Become quarrelsome
    3. Be liable to disease
    4. Lose his social status and be subject to evil reputation
    5. Be prone to act in a shameful manner
    6. Be weakened in intellect

    There is a tendency that in the excessive indulgence of intoxicants, a man may be driven to a semi-state of insanity. He loses all sense of personal safety and well being. Like a mad bull, he looks for his kill, and not conscious of his murderous act, he paints the path red, by the blood of even his own parents or relatives, friends or strangers. By this violent act, he would cause injury to the Lord Buddha, the Pacceka Buddha or Arahants – and in his waking state he would sigh with repentance, but not retrieve could be made to set his folly right. The fires of hellish realms, burn
  • Sigalovada Sutta: The Buddha's Advice to Sigalaka

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.31.0.ksw0.html

    (3) "What are the six channels for dissipating wealth which he does not pursue?

    (a) "indulgence in intoxicants which cause infatuation and heedlessness;
    (b) sauntering in streets at unseemly hours;
    (c) frequenting theatrical shows;
    (d) indulgence in gambling which causes heedlessness;
    (e) association with evil companions;
    (f) the habit of idleness.

    (a) "There are, young householder, these six evil consequences in indulging in intoxicants which cause infatuation and heedlessness:

    (i) loss of wealth,
    (ii) increase of quarrels,
    (iii) susceptibility to disease,
    (iv) earning an evil reputation,
    (v) shameless exposure of body,
    (vi) weakening of intellect.

    (b) "There are, young householder, these six evil consequences in sauntering in streets at unseemly hours:
    (i) he himself is unprotected and unguarded,
    (ii) his wife and children are unprotected and unguarded,
    (iii) his property is unprotected and unguarded,
    (iv) he is suspected of evil deeds,[3]
    (v) he is subject to false rumours, (vi) he meets with many troubles.

    (c) "There are, young householder, these six evil consequences in frequenting theatrical shows. He is ever thinking:
    (i) where is there dancing?
    (ii) where is there singing?
    (iii) where is there music?
    (iv) where is there recitation?
    (v) where is there playing with cymbals?
    (vi) where is there pot-blowing?[4]

    (d) "There are, young householder, these six evil consequences in indulging in gambling:
    (i) the winner begets hate,
    (ii) the loser grieves for lost wealth,
    (iii) loss of wealth,
    (iv) his word is not relied upon in a court of law,
    (v) he is despised by his friends and associates,
    (vi) he is not sought after for matrimony; for people would say he is a gambler and is not fit to look after a wife.

    (e) "There are, young householder, these six evil consequences in associating with evil companions, namely: any gambler, any libertine, any drunkard, any swindler, any cheat, any rowdy is his friend and companion.

    (f) "There are, young householder, these six evil consequences in being addicted to idleness:

    "He does no work, saying:
    (i) that it is extremely cold,
    (ii) that it is extremely hot,
    (iii) that it is too late in the evening,
    (iv) that it is too early in the morning,
    (v) that he is extremely hungry,
    (vi) that he is too full.

    "Living in this way, he leaves many duties undone, new wealth he does not get, and wealth he has acquired dwindles away."
  • @shanyin that would be nice, but for now I'll have to use newbuddhist.com as I don't know anybody over here that's a decent buddhist teacher. And travelling to a monastery is a little out of the question.
    I don't think cocaine should be illegal, or heroin for that matter. It would eliminate so much crime. People do it anyway.


    I've seen up close and personal what heroin and cocaine can do to a person far too many times-- and how it affects their friends and families and the community. There's good reason that certain drugs ought to be illegal (and perhaps certain drugs that are classified as "legal" hat the pharmaceuticals push too). The real crime lies not in the taking the drugs but in the sale of them.

    Legalising murder and theft would also reduce the crime rate, you know...
    I've also seen instances where heroin and cocaine do nothing detrimental to a person. With all due respect, while heroin and cocaine are more addictive than most drugs, the addiction usually comes down to the person who is abusing the drug, not the drug itself. This, by no means, warrants that to be illegal in my eyes. And this is coming from a person who has dealt with family members using the drugs - one of them a heroin addict, I don't know where he is nowadays he basically killed himself and his relation to the family.

    Murder and theft are obvious no-no's. Murder would lead to chaos, which would obviously disrupt most civilized culture - but this is also arguable in my eyes. Theft, on the other hand, should obviously be illegal - in a state where the individual can sell whatever he wants, in whatever way he wants, theft discourages profits and puts more fear into the individual, doing nothing but hurting the economy.

    Legalizing all drugs, on the other hand, would actually create another economy. It would give people more rights, and not less.

    So, looking at it completely rational and logically, it makes sense to me.

    But, we're getting a little off topic..
  • You are the one who is responsible for your life, nobody else. That also includes, that there is nobody who can fix your problem if you thought would have been wrong. The right effort is up to you as well as the consequences out of it.

    Stay mindful! *smile*
  • Once again, anyone can justify anything. The precepts are the precepts, period. Have the courage to live with your decisions either way, but don't try and dance around the precepts, they are what they are and we all know it.

    Namaste
  • and stay like we are... *smile* Some maybe like to grow.
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited October 2011
    @Lui, on the buddhist path we let go of craving sense desires, right? And alcohol is addicitive both physically and psychologically.

    @Federica, thanks I didn't know some of the alcohol remained. Its probably still ok to put a 1/2 cup of redwine in 2 L of marinara??
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    Up to You @Jeffrey dear, up to you......
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