Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Five Precepts

Here is one of the things I ponder on most and try my hardest to focus on in daily life, the Five Precepts. They are the guide on how the lay practitioner is to live their life. Wikipedia says:

1. Affirm life; Do not kill
2. Be giving; Do not steal
3. Honor the body; Do not misuse sexuality
4. Manifest truth; Do not lie
5. Proceed clearly; Do not cloud the mind

I grew up Presbyterian so I like the ritualistic way these are stated but to boil them down to their basics we are to refrain from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and using intoxicants. Having gone to church most my life these sound real familiar, as in Ten Commandments familiar. All except the no intoxicants (lookin at you Catholics :) are mirrored in Buddhism, Christians just added on a few extra Commandments.

The Precepts are here to help us become more like the Buddha and achieve enlightenment. I cannot see a murder or a thief becoming enlightened, nor a rapist or a person unable to tell the truth. Those were easy for me to integrate into my life. The final Precept was herder for me. I came from a fraternity where we were known for our parties and our ability to hold our alcohol. Since having children my desire for drinks slackened significantly but I still enjoy a drink now an then. I can understand that to become enlightened one must have a clear mind and alcohol does the opposite so it is something to work on.

That's my little blurb on the Five Precepts, just imagine a world if everyone followed these five simple rules (unless you're a bar owner...that'd be horrible).

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