My thoughts have been really caught on precepts the last few days.
As I said before, and many would agree, Right Speech is the biggest challenge. It sometimes takes a lot of mindfulness to even realize when you are about to break it. Seemingly harmless gossip, simple comments, observations and criticism, even when truthful can still be harmful if not worded properly. So many of us are too fond of expressing our own opinions, not keeping silent. Even while writing this blog, it’s the only precept I have to practice, and sometimes catch myself, or not, breaking it. I’m tempted to say that I will focus for one week to uphold this precept, but once the week is over, it would be meaningless. Instead, I will focus one day at a time to practice right speech. The weeks and months will pass regardless.
I became a little sarcastic talking about precepts 6~10. I realize the value of them, but I also realized I wouldn’t follow them! Not eating after noon seems like the most difficult. When I don’t eat I lose focus, get shaky, dizzy and irritable very easily, and have a hard time having conversation. What I could do, though, is focus on eating more sustainable foods earlier in the day, and eating less at night. I can see how this plays into the not over sleeping precept. If I woke up a couple hours earlier, I could prepare a decent meal in the morning and still get to work on time. I also think about today’s diet compared to a diet 2500 years ago. So much of what people consume today I can barely consider as food.
Entertainment, dancing, music… Those would be very difficult for me to let go of, but I can easily see how peaceful life would be if I were to. They are all very distracting to mindfulness. Sitting meditation would replace entertainment, walking meditation or something like Thai Chi (a moving meditation) would become dance, and listening to the moment would be music.