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Precepts and morality comes first.

NamadaNamada Veteran
edited March 2014 in Buddhism Basics

The Precepts and morality are the first step in the buddhist practice, do you agree with Ajan Thate?

Ajahn Thate: "As long as your precepts aren't being kept pure, your mind isn't yet ready for training. Even if it is trained, its training won't lead to progress and development in the Dhamma, for its foundations aren't yet firm enough to advance along the Noble Path — and we can say that it hasn't yet reached the refuge of the Triple Gem (ti-ratana). A true Buddhist must before all else be firmly based in the Triple Gem and the principles of morality."

From the book "Steps Along the Path"

Comments

  • In the mahayana there are five paths the first leading to the others. The first is morality and an intellectual understanding of dependent origination which could be formulated as the emptiness of the five skhandas.

    So yes @Namada you are correct.

    wangchueyNamada
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    edited March 2014

    @Namada said:
    The Precepts and morality are the first step in the buddhist practice, do you agree with Ajan Thate?

    The question you should be asking is, "Do I agree with Ajahn Thate?"

    Whether or not I or anyone else agrees or disagrees with him should be quite irrelevant. It's a question you must ask yourself and not me. To be honest, I don't care what he teaches.

  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran

    Without the proper wisdom and desire to keep the precepts, the process and fruits of meditation can be used for ill, or cause one further suffering.

    lobster
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    I like @how's view.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I think it depends a lot on the teaching and the teacher. When student's of my teacher take refuge, they take slightly different precepts from the standard 5.
    Anyhow, the only thing that matters is what you believe, and if you find him to be your teacher, if what he teaches works for you. Also, that you don't use his teachings to judge other people on their path, which might be different. The only person you should be concerned with regarding the precepts, is yourself.

    Jeffrey
  • I am not even sure what the precepts are. ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°

    If they are:

    Don't be naughty

    Be kind

    Have a nice day

    Love rules

    Free your mind

    then I will follow them to the best of my ability
    . . . oh you mean this stuff:
    http://dhammadana.fr/en/precepts.htm
    . . . kids stuff . . .

    wot precepts?

    ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°

  • wangchueywangchuey Veteran
    edited March 2014

    I agree. Following precepts or keeping the mind less defiled would give meditation a good solid foundation. I could imagine how much more difficult it would be without any type of foundation at all. If you're meditating just for relaxation and yoga then precepts wouldn't matter. If you're going for awareness and insight then you need to have something to keep the mind less active.

    robotInvincible_summerlobsterNamada
  • I would never call myself a monk unless I think I could follow the precepts 27 days out of the month.

    But thankfully I consider myself a lay person :)

  • @Namada said:
    The Precepts and morality are the first step in the buddhist practice, do you agree with Ajan Thate?

    Ajahn Thate: "As long as your precepts aren't being kept pure, your mind isn't yet ready for training. Even if it is trained, its training won't lead to progress and development in the Dhamma, for its foundations aren't yet firm enough to advance along the Noble Path — and we can say that it hasn't yet reached the refuge of the Triple Gem (ti-ratana).** A true Buddhist must before all else be firmly based in the Triple Gem and the principles of morality**."

    From the book "Steps Along the Path"

    What is the 1st step in the N8FP? Right view.

    Right view is the forerunner of the entire path, the guide for all the other factors. It enables us to understand our starting point, our destination, and the successive landmarks to pass as practice advances. To attempt to engage in the practice without a foundation of right view is to risk getting lost in the futility of undirected movement. Doing so might be compared to wanting to drive someplace without consulting a roadmap or listening to the suggestions of an experienced driver. One might get into the car and start to drive, but rather than approaching closer to one's destination, one is more likely to move farther away from it. To arrive at the desired place one has to have some idea of its general direction and of the roads leading to it. Analogous considerations apply to the practice of the path, which takes place in a framework of understanding established by right view.

    Bhikkhu Bodhi

    "Beings are the owners of their actions, the heirs of their actions; they spring from their actions, are bound to their actions, and are supported by their actions. Whatever deeds they do, good or bad, of those they shall be heirs."

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran

    my understanding says: N8FP consists of morality(sila), concentration or absorption(samadhi) and wisdom(panna). sila supports samadhi and panna, samadhi supports panna and sila, panna supports sila and samadhi. each factor helping the other two. right view leads to right intention, which leads to right effort - but to have right view, wisdom (though on a basic level) is needed. morality is needed, so that the mind can be somewhat calm, which would help in meditation. i think i heard ajahn brahm said in some dhamma talk that all the precepts comes down to just one thing - don't do anything which leads to harm to others or harm to yourself. so if this thing is kept in mind, the spiritual journey can be started.

    Namadawangchuey
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Namada said:
    The Precepts and morality are the first step in the buddhist practice, do you agree with Ajan Thate?

    Ajahn Thate: "As long as your precepts aren't being kept pure, your mind isn't yet ready for training. Even if it is trained, its training won't lead to progress and development in the Dhamma, for its foundations aren't yet firm enough to advance along the Noble Path — and we can say that it hasn't yet reached the refuge of the Triple Gem (ti-ratana). A true Buddhist must before all else be firmly based in the Triple Gem and the principles of morality."

    From the book "Steps Along the Path"

    Completely true. :) For example, if you make a living robbing banks and then come home to do meditation practice to get enlightenment, well, that's not going to work. :)

    wangchueyNamada
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran
    edited March 2014

    @vinlyn said: Yes, I do agree. Some have the mistaken (in my view) opinion that the Precepts are for training the mind. I believe we are training the mind to keep the Precepts.

    Yeah, I can see that. I think the different views have to do with what one wants out of the Buddhist path.

    If living a good, ethical life in harmony with those around you is as far as one wants to go then following the precepts as an end makes sense.

    If one wants to go deeper into the nature of one's mind or reality then keeping the precepts are more a means to an end than an end in themselves.

    Either way, I agree with the OP that morality and following the precepts are one of the possible good starting points. IMO gaining right view (study) or finding and following a quality teacher being two others that come to mind.

  • howhow Veteran
    edited March 2014

    In my experience,
    going on, always going on, always becoming Buddha,
    leaves this precept question, like what comes first, the chicken or the egg discussion,
    well behind on the path.

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    @how -- Let's leave some wiggle-room for fakin' it... you know, the stuff where you fake compassion or some other desirable state right up to the moment when you become compassionate. Fakin' it may be fake, but it can have some worthwhile fallout.

    lobster
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Related question:
    Those of you who have taken precepts, do you take them daily? Or only when you have done refuge vows and then try to maintain them? My teacher recommends taking them daily, every 24 hours, and taking the 8 precepts on certain days as well. I just started doing the 8 precepts. For me, taking them daily makes a huge difference over having taken them once and then trying to keep them in the back of my mind. It makes it too easy for me to say "well, yeah, I took precepts back 2 years ago, but, this is today and things are different right now than they were then." When I do it daily, it is with consideration of the changes that have occurred along the way and an agreement with myself to keep going. Just curios what others do.

  • @karasti, sometimes I am sluggish in meditation and I do refuge and arousing bodhicitta. I haven't thought to to the precepts. @karasti, do you chant the precepts? I do a lot of chanting in the shower.

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