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When Practice Gets Stale

AngusAngus NewVietnam New

Having practiced daily for about 3-4 years , meditating daily, keeping the 5 precepts doing retreats 3 or 4 times a year I have found my life to be more peaceful and manageable . Its the 5th precept that , although has made life easier has also made it less fun .Here is my question . How much damage would it do to my practice to have a couple of weeks break from the precepts . Flying through Amsterdam next week and a blowout of booze drugs and chicks would be kind of fun . It would only be a temporary lapse and once id sobered up would be back on the straight and narrow . What do you think ?

lobsterseeker242

Comments

  • KundoKundo Veteran Sydney, Australia Veteran

    More importantly, what do you think?...

    federicalobster
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    Pay attention to the mental fallout from such behavior. Usually the things that give us pleasure in the moment bring us pain in the long run. The opposite is also true that the things that bring us well being in the long often take work and sacrifice in the moment, exercise for example.

    Take a simple example from my own life. I eat fairly healthy 6 days a week usually, but allow myself one cheat day. Often times that cheat day turns into a binge day and while eating all that tasty food is enjoyable in the moment I feel the effects later. And I feel the positive effects on my health and well being by eating well the rest of the week, and that happiness is steadier and more sustainable. Our spiritual practice is much the same.

    A saying that gets passed around here from time to time goes something like "You won't be punished for your sins, you'll be punished by your sins."

    Of course it also depends on your temperament too. For example a recovered alcoholic usually can't have just one drink or just one night without descending back into old habits. If that's not you though sometimes a look at old behaviors with a different perspective helps show us not only aspects that we didn't notice before but ways that our new behaviors have changed us that we haven't really noticed.

  • 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 May 21

    ...blowout of booze drugs and chicks would be kind of fun ...

    You do realise there are ladies on this forum, right...? and that kind of dismissive sentiment isn't appreciated by all and sundry? It's sexist and derogatory, and there's Right Speech out of the window, right there....

    By all means let your hair down if you must (but why you feel it would be a constructive thing to divert from what seems to have been a fruitful practice, I don't really know!).

    we already know it takes years of concentration to develop a Mindful and skilful attitude, but to actively seek to go totally against it for a brief period, to me states two things:
    One, you are easily diverted by a temptation that could easily undo your dedication and focus and -
    Two - if you are prepared to shelve your practice so easily - then how serious has it really been? That kind of diversion seems to me to be admitting that you've merely been paying lip service to Buddhism, and doing something because you think you should/it's expected.
    Not because you wish to transform your life and reside in the 4 Sublime States...

    Practising isn't like earning or losing brownie points, you know.
    It's not something like a diet, that you can binge for 2 days as long as you promise to fast for the subsequent two...

    It doesn't work like that.

    You can interrupt your practice all you like - Kamma/Vippaka won't see it that way.
    When you practise, you practise. And while you decide to live a hedonistic existence, kamma/Vippaka will still be seeing things that way. You can't pause Kamma/Vippaka....

  • 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

    By the way: I don't drink/break the 5th precept.

    I am still able to have fun.
    So I guess it depends on your definition of 'fun'.

    If it means having too much to drink, or indulging in drugs and 'spacing out'...
    That's a pretty screwed definition of 'fun'...

    Kundo
  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    I am sure the idea of it sounds good right now but, trust me, once you’ve done it you’ll regret it and vow not to do it again.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    What do you think?

    Not much. :p

    Kundo
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran
    edited May 21

    To me it's a humorous (to me) juxtaposition of the title "when practice gets stale" and not what I expected in the text was the solution to stale practice is partying in Amsterdam. Ha ha. I expected more to say just a feeling of rut in studies and meditation and asking for a meditation solution to get the 'juice' back.

    I can understand longing for drug use as sometimes I have dreams of finding Marijuana even though I haven't smoked for 20 or more years. And I think the longing for the drug use isn't just longing to smoke that drug again but longing for being at the prime of my physical youth.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Angus said:
    Having practiced daily for about 3-4 years , meditating daily, keeping the 5 precepts doing retreats 3 or 4 times a year I have found my life to be more peaceful and manageable . Its the 5th precept that , although has made life easier has also made it less fun .Here is my question . How much damage would it do to my practice to have a couple of weeks break from the precepts . Flying through Amsterdam next week and a blowout of booze drugs and chicks would be kind of fun . It would only be a temporary lapse and once id sobered up would be back on the straight and narrow . What do you think ?

    Each to their own @Angus....

    Hmm it reminds me of the 2001 movie "Samsara" where a monk leave the monastic life for a while to experience life is Samsara...Have you seen it ?

    Full Movie "Here"

    Bunks
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Veteran Canada Veteran
    edited May 22

    The purpose of the Precepts is to help us see how enslaved we are. When we resist these impulses we have the of opportunity to observe and learn. If we just give in to our cravings, we don't have that opportunity for mindful learning.
    It is not whether or not you get drunk, but whether or not you observe how your cravings push you. Which you cannot do when you are drunk.

    No one says you cannot take a vacation from your Practice.
    Our cravings take us on all sorts of deviations from our practice.

    On the other hand, using others for your sexual pleasure is more serious. Sets imprints/karmas inside you that will draw people to you who will use you.

    KundolobsterBunksperson
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    It would only be a temporary lapse and once id sobered up would be back on the straight and narrow

    I can kick you continually in the balls to reacquaint you with the first Noble Truth, if that helps? o:)

    KundofedericapersonFoibleFull
  • KundoKundo Veteran Sydney, Australia Veteran

    I see @Angus is yet to return to rate our input...

  • 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

    Joined 2017. Visits: 7.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I think it is a very personal question. I usually let myself be guided by mindfulness, I try to stay as aware as possible of my own state. The last time I had some whiskey (which is the closest I come to a booze, drugs and chicks-fuelled bender) I came to the conclusion it wasn’t a very positive experience.

    Kundo
  • skyfox66skyfox66 Explorer Explorer

    I think this is a lesson some people must learn for themselves. Experience is a better teacher than people.

    KundoBunkslobsterKerome
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Indeed @skyfox66 <3

    Every person is unique.
    For example you might need a little wild kraziness
    https://cundi.weebly.com/crazies.html

    ... being a fluffy bunny is not everyones requirement ...
    ... sobriety is greater clarity, snooze or pain or hedonism is not ...

    Emotional, physical and mental calming. iz plan.

  • paulysopaulyso Veteran usa Veteran

    some thoughts. there is the practice phase,and there is the lifestyle phase.initially, the practice phase can be a struggle . dont i know it. this phase is strive--practice--towards ease. we try to incorporate wise councel--dharma--insight ,advise,techniques to live a life less stress and more well.cause the noble truth,points out,we got issues.some more or less than others.the spirit of the letter is peace of mind or contentment. the more we practice the more our memory and awareness become activated.in time the practice is a habit or a lifestyle.hopefully,experience makes us wiser.

    on another note,the nuance of dharma is not stale,imo.there will be constant discovery.something new,something old. the spirit of dao zen,young at heart--be curios--and wise--experience and age.

    lobster
  • Daniel47Daniel47 New Raleigh nc New

    Ive been sober for 10 years & tho the thought of a binge is entertaining honestly its just not worth it. Guilt city! Lol

    Bunks
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