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Mindful drinking of beer as a meditation

KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest?Europe Veteran

Have you tried the mindful drinking of beer as a meditation?

The rush of blood, the no-mind of alcoholic fuge, the clear thought of mindfulness, the bubbles in a good Belgian Trappist beer? The slow come down as the beer metabolises in your belly [you may need two Trappist beers for the full effect].

Or is it not Buddhist enough (joins @lobster in the naughty corner) :3

TiggerToshLinc

Comments

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    Have you tried the mindful drinking of beer as a meditation?

    The rush of blood, the no-mind of alcoholic fuge, the clear thought of mindfulness, the bubbles in a good Belgian Trappist beer? The slow come down as the beer metabolises in your belly [you may need two Trappist beers for the full effect].

    Or is it not Buddhist enough (joins @lobster in the naughty corner) :3

    Hmmm the hangover of crashing back to reality would cancel that out I would think

  • KannonKannon NAMU AMIDA BUTSU Ach-To Veteran

    Not a drinker but sometimes I like to meditatively smoke a cigarette...

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I do that VERY occasionally.
    In most traditions beer is an intoxicant and not advised. Good thing in tantra it might be OK ...

    The last time I had some beer was at a family gathering. Probably had two thirds of a pint. It was good ale - Badgers. If following precepts, you can be just as mindful with herbal teas (yogi tea I like) or water ...

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I do just so I am not mindlessly consuming, it's just part of how I tend to eat and drink anything though. When I take the time to enjoy it slowly, I am less likely to have another. When we were in FL, we got cheap beer at Walmart that comes in a Buddha shaped bottle. Seemed odd to me, lol, but we kept them and use them to bottle mead. I do not drink often though, usually only on special occasions, wine at a holiday, a beer on a particularly nice summer evening, etc. For a million reasons, but if nothing else even 2 will impact how I sleep. I drink a lot of tea and water.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    Maybe I won't try that again, given the reaction to the aftermath...

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    Personally, I don't see the issue with having one beer or a glass of wine. I think the point of the precept was that if you become intoxicated you are more likely to break other precepts (i.e. you might lie or cheat or gossip). I don't think having one beer would affect your mind or behaviour. With that said, what's the point really, might as well have a good tasting tea, or hot chocolate.

  • ToshTosh Veteran

    @Tigger said:
    Personally, I don't see the issue with having one beer or a glass of wine.

    What's the point in having one beer or a glass of wine? What's that going to do for you?

    You may as well have a cup of tea or a soda or something.

    I just don't understand?

    Which is why I'm tee-total! :p

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited March 7

    @Tigger, this isn't a criticism or condemnation.
    Just to say that the 5th Precept encourages abstention.
    The decision is yours of course, but you can't be a 'little bit pregnant', so having just one beer or glass of wine, means that you might as well blow out and go the whole 9 yards, because when it comes to the 5th precept - and indeed, any one of them - you either do - or you don't.

    As I said, not a criticism, and it's entirely up to you.
    But the first Precept states to do No Harm. It is the 'Mother' of all the following Precepts we adhere to. .
    And even one drink, whatever it might be, has an effect.....

    Carlita
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    You're not criticising me. I was just quoting what I read. I am by no means an expert and everyone on here probably has a better understanding than me about any Buddhist related topic. I did read however, that the reason for that precept is that it can encourage you to break others....again, that's what I read so I was having a discussion.

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    @Tosh said:
    What's the point in having one beer or a glass of wine? What's that going to do for you?
    You may as well have a cup of tea or a soda or something.
    I just don't understand?

    That's what I said in my last sentence

    Tosh
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    alcohol has subtle effects on the brain whether you "feel" it or not. That doesn't mean one beer will lead you to a night of precept-breaking debauchery, lol. But it does have a chemical impact on the brain. It also is a depressant, so it relaxes you and is easy to become something to rely on to relax instead of healthier methods. Especially since many will find they need a bit more over time to relax the same. So one beer after work becomes 3 beers after work. Everyone is different so it'll impact them differently, and of course depends what you drink. My favorite beer is 11% alcohol. One beer is all I have, and I definitely feel it. On the plus side it's a limited release that is only available a few weeks a year so I ration it pretty severely, lol.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Ahhhhh @Tosh - I know why don't drink anymore and hats off to you.

    But we drink a glass of red or a pint of ale for the same reason you have a slice (or two) of Chocolate Gateau - because it's lovely!

    Knowing when to stop is the trick........

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    My favourite distraction is the mindful eating of ice-cream, particularly the Tantric Trinity of Neapolitan. :p

    dhammachickspencerstone
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    I will try that next time I fancy a beer... sugar rush rather than alcohol rush

    Carlita
  • ToshTosh Veteran

    @Bunks said:

    Knowing when to stop is the trick........

    When you're unconscious and lying in a pool of bodily fluids? O.o

    dhammachickBunks
  • NamadaNamada Veteran
    edited March 8

    At work we have this kind of trips few times in the year, where you have to drink beer or wine.
    Just so you can be social accepted. So its kind of peer pressure from my colleges,
    then I will take one drink or two. Normaly, I never drink.
    But I can even feel how tierd my body feels after just few drinks next morning, its poison.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Namada said:
    At work we have this kind of trips few times in the year, where you have to drink beer or wine.
    Just so you can be social accepted. So its kind of peer pressure from my colleges,
    then I will take one drink or two. Normaly, I never drink.
    But I can even feel how tierd my body feels after just few drinks next morning, its poison.

    Hopefully as you get older and more comfortable in your skin @Namada (I am assuming you're quite young), you'll be comfortable enough to say "I don't drink thanks" and stick to the soft stuff with your colleagues.

    Saying no is perfectly ok.

    karastidhammachick
  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran

    @Tigger said:
    You're not criticising me. I was just quoting what I read. I am by no means an expert and everyone on here probably has a better understanding than me about any Buddhist related topic. I did read however, that the reason for that precept is that it can encourage you to break others....again, that's what I read so I was having a discussion.

    -Actually, some would argue, as regards your practice, you are the authority...

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Indeed, @Bunks. I know peer pressure exists, but for adults it should be pretty minimal. Most don't care if you do or don't partake in whatever they are doing. Just say no thanks and move on. We rarely go to my husband's work functions, and when we do it's just a brief time to say hello. We skip the xmas party and all that jazz, just not our thing.No one cares.

    Bunksdhammachick
  • NamadaNamada Veteran
    edited March 8

    @Bunks Iam 31 iam not so young :) Its easier to go with the flow when absolute everyone is drinking in my group, anyway I only drink when we have this kind of trips with my work, and thats 1 time in year, rest of the year Iam sober.

    Bunks
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Namada said:
    @Bunks Iam 31 iam not so young :) Its easier to go with the flow when absolute everyone is drinking in my group, anyway I only drink when we have this kind of trips with my work, and thats 1 time in year, rest of the year Iam sober.

    Cool! I would have felt the need to go with the flow at your age too.

    These days I actually don't even really go to work functions anymore. I spend 8 hours a day with them. I don't need to spend any more time (although they're nice people).

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Mindful drinking of beer as a meditation

    ...And not to forget the meditative burp ....(which Homer's got down pat) ;)

  • NamadaNamada Veteran

    @Bunks you are right, we are almost spending more time with work colleagues then with our family.

    Bunks
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Tosh said:

    @Bunks said:

    Knowing when to stop is the trick........

    When you're unconscious and lying in a pool of bodily fluids? O.o

    Sheer luxury! :p

    lobsterToshBunksFosdick
  • BunksSpinyNormanLinc
  • LincLinc Community Instigator Detroit Moderator
    edited March 20

    Another case where it's helpful to delineate where "meditative" is not meditation.

  • LincLinc Community Instigator Detroit Moderator
    edited March 20

    @Tosh said:
    What's the point in having one beer or a glass of wine? What's that going to do for you?

    It's entirely possible to be a "beer nerd" and admire the craftsmanship and flavor of a great beer. Likewise for wine and liquor. I have a bottle of extremely rare beer and one of rare bourbon that I never have more than a small serving of because if I'm not savoring every sip (meditatively sipping? ;) ) it's surely not worth the price.

    Sodas and other beverages very rarely are tended to with the care and variation of a fermented or distilled beverage. Which isn't to say I don't thoroughly enjoy a locally-produced soda! But they tend to be very minor variations on established tropes. Tea I actually take the opposite approach to: please don't add anything! :chuffed: Black (or green) tea, no flavoring. And I consume about 20x more tea than I ever do alcohol, it's not exclusionary.

    Not that I mean to sway a teetotaler, merely answering the posed question even if perhaps it was meant rhetorically.

    Tosh
  • ToshTosh Veteran

    @Linc said:

    It's entirely possible to be a "beer nerd" and admire the craftsmanship and flavor of a great beer. Likewise for wine and liquor. I have a bottle of extremely rare beer and one of rare bourbon that I never have more than a small serving of because if I'm not savoring every sip (meditatively sipping? ;) ) it's surely not worth the price.

    Yes, I agree; my comments speak far more about myself and my attitude towards alcohol than anything else.

    You enjoy that beer, though for the life of me, I cannot understand why people drink booze for the taste when it's the effect that's sooooooooooo great!

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited March 22

    @IronRabbit said:

    Aaaah you've met my ex husband's bevy of beauties I see :awesome:

    Shit, did I think that out loud? LOL

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @Tosh and for me, I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone gets off on those effects! I enjoy a smooth tasting drink but as soon as I can feel it ick. I am done. I will dump it down the drain rather than feel the effects of alcohol. I find that especially true with narcotics. I simply do not understand why people get joy in feeling like they are slow and floating. It's awful. All 3 times I had surgery, I stuck with advil over narcotics. . When I had my knee surgery a few years ago, they gave me tylenol with codeine and insisted I had to take it to keep on top of the pain. The 4 hours or so it was in effect were miserable. I drank about a gallon of water to get it to clear my system and never took it again. It just an awful disgusting feeling. I hate having my mind, body, and emotions numbed. I feel like I am not even part of the world.

    Of course I understand psychologically how so many people seek that numbness exactly, out of escape from things they can't or don't want to cope with. But the physical feelings of it, I do not understand one bit. I find nothing enjoyable about that kind of sensation.

    I've been drunk many times in my life. But I can't say I ever truly enjoyed it. I was very aware of the fissure that happened between who I really am and who alcohol turned me into and I never liked that. Now that I have done so much work on learning about my mind the desire to alter it is even less than ever.

  • HozanHozan Veteran

    Alcohol doesnt suit me at all. The day afterwards even after moderate consumption I am hungover to some degree. Over indulge and the following day is a complete write off ( imagine a dark room, curtains closed, intense nausea and headache). I have had alcohol but I just gave it up. My body just doesnt do alcohol. I dont miss it.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @lobster said:

    I do that VERY occasionally.
    In most traditions beer is an intoxicant and not advised. Good thing in tantra it might be OK ...

    I found this reference to Chögyam Trungpa a few days ago...

    https://www.elephantjournal.com/2009/03/mindful-drinking-vajrayana-tradition-alcohol-and-buddhism/

    Although Linc’s point is well taken.

    lobster
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited October 10

    I do but moreso when eating out and it's to do with eating pleasure and socializing while enjoying. I will have one beer or glass of wine. I used to drink quite a bit and now I am in a good place. For about a year I was buying one bottle of beer at the grocery (they sell singles), but nowadays I've turned the corner on that and think "wouldn't a donut be a better source of naughtiness?"

    And I do like beer and wine as a very refined interesting eating pleasure in itself and don't need to have many and get drunk. My state and city are big time beer state and city in USA which has had a beer revolution (180 degrees away from Miller, Bud, and Coors). And I used to home brew (from when I was of legal age!) and read books about beer so it's as if I am a skilled baker who occasionally has a donut but not often because of a risk of diabetes 2.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    After a year and a half of not drinking at all, i’ve recently had one beer a day, for a few days in succession. Enjoying them mindfully, I can report, 1) it makes one more talkative, 2) there are distinct stages to the experience, to whit: a relaxation, a euphoria, a protracted dullness which may turn into a headache if one is insufficiently hydrated, and lastly 3) it does seem to affect creativity and insight in a positive manner if done mindfully.

    All of which should not come as a surprise, since beers have been used as social lubricants by the mainstream and creative lubricants by artists for centuries. But that at least the early stages can loosen the mind and give insight was a new one on me.

    Whether as Chogyam Trungpa’s students claimed it could also “loosen the ego” is still subject to experimentation. But perhaps becoming more talkative is a sign of that, that all the ego-gates on what we say get lifted, we talk more easily and freely and connect more to those we talk to.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited October 11

    In Vino Veritas. Etiam in cervisiam.

  • Drinking alcohol or taking drugs are both excellent and quick ways to alter one's consciousness. Monkey mind desires that pleasant alteration and can have very poor judgement about minimizing (just having one) - no fault of the imbiber, just the way monkey mind works. So, this is your life. You want to sit stoned or buzzed, you go right ahead. But know that sitting and getting fucked up have the same goal - a peaceful shift in consciousness. Just remember while jacking around with drugs and alcohol that practice can accomplish a similar altered consciousness - if you are patient and persistent. Granted, seven years of sitting isn't the quickest path to enibriation, but it has so much more integrity......

    lobsterKerome
  • You can look at this in 2 ways I would suggest. Firstly from a Buddhist perspective which is pretty cut and dry. The mind whilst in a sober state is perfect for cultivating mindfulness, awareness and compassion. Skewing the mind with intoxicants such as alcohol is not wise and there is no getting away from the fact that it will not benefit your understanding of the Buddha Dharma (I guess thinking about how much you're suffering on a hangover can be quite insightful however) - Buddhism shows us that there isn't anything else external we need to elevate suffering, things like alcohol help us indulge in ignorance and sensual pleasure seeking.

    The other way you can look at it, which is from the point of view of lay people is that questioning whether or not your alcohol consumption is negative to your life. If you get drunk once or twice a week, but you don't cause harm to others, and you keep it in semi moderation, is it that much of a hindrance to your life? I think it comes down to personal preference.

    I used to be a binge drinker who would get sloshed 2-3 times a week, from about the age of 16 - 22. Now I drink maybe once every 3 weeks and I rarely ever get drunk anymore. I hate the feeling of being literally poisoned, and I prefer to keep a fit and healthy life, being spiritually grounded. Everybody is different, but alcohol has no place in Buddhism period.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited October 12

    @Linc said:
    For the record tho, I think "Doing X mindfully" is perhaps meditative, but it is not meditation. This applies doubly to something that prevents me from subsequently meditating.

    Exactly.

    We or maybe just me, are on a path to end befuddlement, samsara intoxication. I do not indulge alcoholic 'teachers' (it is a trust thing). They act like buffoons - just in case you were wondering. I am not a rasta, hashish dervish, shaman or kogi, so my main method of mind alteration is the same as @IronRabbit.

    I prefer clarity, sobriety and ... reasonable dharma based behavour ...

    Cheers.

  • LincLinc Community Instigator Detroit Moderator

    Usually the things we find comforting & comfortable aren't very good teachers.

    VastmindUkjunglistlobsterShoshin
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @Linc said:
    Usually the things we find comforting & comfortable aren't very good teachers.

    There is some truth in that, pain and suffering are very effective teachers. However... we should learn to be compassionate towards ourselves, accepting of ourselves as we are. If we choose to continually strive towards an ideal we end up focussing ourselves on what we might be in the future, rather than being what we are in the here and now.

    I’m not saying that the buddha’s injunction against substances that cause heedlessness was incorrect, merely that for some people there may be a halfway stage, a place where the heedlessness of full intoxication does not take root and there is the possibility of something else.

    In continuing the experiment - one beer a day - I have tried to access differing focus, insight and reduced ego states, with a small amount of success. One has to concentrate against the current of relaxation...

  • Don't be late....

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    It is interesting to consider what a sober mind really is. Obviously, there is drunk/under the influence of alcohol and not. But what if you expand it? I actually have a much harder time with meditation after a cup of coffee than a glass of wine. Am I not-sober when I have wine, but sober on coffee because of how our society treats the 2 differently? I don't think so. It's considered completely acceptable to make comments about how we cannot function without coffee. But if someone were to say the same thing about alcohol, our judgments change. But actual addiction aside, is it really that different?

    It seems to me we can become "not sober" on just about anything, including:
    exercise
    video games
    relationships
    sex
    reading
    sports
    shopping
    online discussions
    music
    sugar
    caffeine
    spirituality

    Everything is always about balance, and different things throw different people out of balance in different ways. The effects of a glass of wine and a video game on me are vastly different than someone else. While that same person might accept sugar or caffeine with no negative effects while I cannot.

    lobsterKerome
  • Very well said @karasti - good points.

    Our addictive/impeded selves are different. Giving up alcohol would be easy for me because I rarely drink. Looking at other types of the compulsive behavour patterns [yep many recognized] :3

    There is a huge difference between engaging in an activity, which can be wholesome and functional and the sort of indulgence and addiction that is unbalanced ...

    Mny thanks ...

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