How 2 of the Five Precepts of Buddhism can be applied in real life
Today I went to temple in the morning with my mother. We woke up at 6am which for those who know me knows it is hard to beleive that i actually woke up but i assure that i did. We drove to the temple near our house, gave our offering to the monks and afterwards stayed for morning prayers. What was different today was that before prayers the head monk spoke of budda’s teachings The Five Precepts and these are the ideas that i came away with and truely resonated with me.
The First Precept : To abstain from taking life.
All living things will defend their lives this is a fact, it is an instinct born in all living thing big or small. It is the way we are built, even your own lovely dog will bite you if you try to strangle it. But somehow some of us still deem lives of others be they our fellow humans or animals of lesser importance than our own. Some killing our of fear or worse out of laziness like crushing a ant with a tissue instead of going to your window and blowing it off your hand, out of your room. I understand that there are many circumstances to be justified but you get the gist of what i am saying. However let me explain further so you might understand completely what i am trying to say.
If someone told you that you would have choice of having a house full of diamonds and all things are valuable and precious or you can have your life. I doubt that anyone would choose the house full of diamond over your own life for without life nothing else matters. So can you not see that life is the most precious thing to us as it is to all thing be they ants beneath our feet or the stray dogs you see everyday. As you cherish your own life so do all things living so be mindful when decide to take a life for remember that they too love this earth and would not leave it if they could. Everyone is has killed something ofcourse at one time or another it is unavoidable but to the least i ask you to avoid it if you can. I regret all the animals i killed in the past, the ants i washed down the sink and with satisfaction (at the time) i might add, all the pets i neglected but i know better now and beg them for forgiveness.
The Fifth Precept: To abstain from all intoxicants causing heedlessness
What do drugs and alcohol do, you think? Y0u drink, you take them if not for illness is for release, either release from present/future worries or to forgot them entirely. There is a thai saying that alcohol is a liquid that changes your personally because some people, you are one person whilst sober and becomes another when you are intoxicated, be you angry, boisterous, aggressive, cheerful, or talkative and more confident than your usual self. To some it might be a harmless affair you get drunk or high have fun and you go home end of story but to many others the story doesn’t end there. It ends cars crashes, spending a night in jail for DIY, getting into fights, doing something that might irriversebly damage your reputable or career, become a parent unintentionally or something inane as trying to have intercourse with an armchair. The crux to this problem is limit or more precisely knowing your own limit and ofcourse having the common sense to act upon it. If you know drinking gets you violent then don’t drink, if you know more than three shots of vodka puts you in a perilous situation drink only two. I am not saying that abstinence is the way go and for those who know me will immedietely say that I am talking out of my ass or going Trump if i did. What I am saying is have common sense, learn from past experience and walk the middle ground. We all still need to live our lives, function, socialise but at the least you should keep calm and have common sense.
Towards the end the monks told us that these precepts are not prohibitions, I will not be punished if I don’t them but I will try to do them because it is for my own bloody sake and maybe for others too. At the end of the day its just you staring at yourself in the mirror and i hope that we all shall not feel ashamed of what we see.
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