more or less on precepts



Thanks to Marcus and ChongGo Sunim, I’ve been further educated on the second set of precepts.

The ones that I found online are intended for someone wishing to become a monk or nun, rather than someone like myself. They are also the traditional precepts of the Theravada tradition. As Marcus pointed out, if I were to take the next five precepts in the Mahayana tradition, they would be more or less as follows:

6. I vow not to talk about the faults of others.
7. I vow not to praise myself and disparage others.
8. I vow not to be covetous, but to be generous with material or spiritual aid.
9. I vow not to give way to anger, but to be harmonious.
10. I vow not to slander the three jewels.

These precepts seem very reasonable to me, actually. I still feel like I need to focus on the first five, for now, however. When I feel as though I’ve done well by them, the next five would be a good step.


6 responses »

  1. Hi Joseph,
    I’ve heard a number of times that if one can fully keep the spirit of the first five precepts, they’ll naturally uphold all of the rest of the precepts.
    While these five look like they’re just addressing harmful behaviors, they’re also deep expressions of our interconnectedness. With, for me, 5 more specific reminders about the most common things people get hung up on. (These being the Mahayana precepts 6-10.)

  2. I love these extra ones. They seem very reasonable. I’d say that they’re implicit in the original five, but since we’re knuckleheaded sentient beings, we need it spelled out for us! LOL

    I’m going to do my best to follow these.

    As an aside, I actually *did* quit drinking two days ago. I threw about a dozen bottles of booze in the dumpster. I’ve realized how much it’s harming my health and how tired and angry I always feel. I read a book on Chinese medicine and it really enlightened me how alcohol, coffee, etc negatively effect our energy (too much heat) and all of my symptoms and anger are clearly correlated to this over-consumption of heat. I’m f***ing sick of being angry!!
    LOL ^^

  3. The precepts (6-10) provided by Marcus are nearly identical to those used by Zen Master Seung Sahn. In the Kwan Um School tradition, students can take 5, 10, 16, and 64 precepts, provided that they meet the related criteria.

    In my own training, I work with the precepts as tools for the examination of my relationships with the world around me.

    I take it for granted that I will make mistakes. The precepts help me gain awareness of the mistakes and troubles I create. Through this, I might shift a little closer to the fundamental precepts of “do no harm, try to help.” It’s ongoing work.

  4. I miss anywhere that I’m not and that was in the past. I had an insight the other week:

    I want to be anywhere I’m not.

    I carry the problem around inside and project it wherever I am. Talk about a bummer! LOL

    But I *do* miss Korea and you guys as well.

    • Probably not long after you wrote this, i had a dream that you were moving back to Seoul. You were also with Marcus, it was nice to sort of hang out with the two of you.
      I woke up almost thinking you were actually coming.

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