In May, it will have been two years since Marcus, Carl, Joe, and myself took refuge and our five precepts. I was thinking of something I could do on the anniversary and the idea of doing the next set of precepts came to mind. The first thing I realized is that I don’t even know what the next set of precepts are!
According to Wikipedia, the second set of precepts are the original five with three more added:
The first one, I probably wouldn’t follow. I love food, I love eating food. Right now, I’m trying to not eat any fried foods, and I’m still struggling with that.
The second, no perfume… no problem, cosmetics and garlands… fine, no dancing… ok, but what about sometimes? no entertainment performances… ouch! but what if a find a monk performing a Dhamma Talk entertaining? What about drumming before chanting at the temple? Okay, I’m getting facetious, BUT NO MUSIC??? NO WAY!!! I’m starting to think my mind’s not ready for this.
The third is easy, but more out of circumstance than practice. Having a baby ensures not over sleeping… I haven’t owned a chair in nearly two years and have slept on my meditation cushion for the past two weeks… I do intend on buying a mattress when I can afford one, is that considered luxurious? If so, I don’t think my wife will be too keen on this precept!
I decided to look back on how I’ve followed my five precepts:
The first, I broke a few times in the summer. In ever case, it was mosquitos! Twice after Fina woke up in the morning huge welts on her face, we hunted them down and when I was picking vegetables in the garden, I wasn’t able to restrain myself. I couldn’t count the amount of bites I had around my ankles, but it was around 150. At least I know the amount of nourishment I gave to spawn new mosquitos probably makes up for the amount that I slapped. That doesn’t really excuse me, though.
No stealing… I was caught stealing when I was younger, and don’t intend on having that happen again. That one’s been easy.
Sexual misconduct. I’m more worried about my thoughts than anything else.
Wrong speech is the difficult one. Haven’t done so well with that. I’ve been a lot more truthful. Deception and manipulation are more subtle than out-right lying. There harder to catch yourself doing. Hurtful words, I’m usually good at this one, but find myself easily invoked by others. Over all, I haven’t done too bad on this one, but there’s a lot of improvement to make.
No intoxicants; Since university, I’ve traded herb for tea and mushrooms for meditation. I was never a drinker, except for once in India, I haven’t done anything else.
Until I can follow the first five precepts successfully, I shouldn’t take on anymore. If I do anything as a two-year celebration, I think it will be to keep my five precepts for the day! I hope my Dhamma Brothers can join me and do the same! ^^