Do Buddhist Drink Alcohol?

Do Buddhist Drink Alcohol
Abstract – Buddhism, the Thai state religion, teaches that use of intoxicants should be avoided. Nonetheless, many Thai people drink alcohol, and a proportion are alcohol-dependent or hazardous or harmful drinkers. This study examines the relationship between Buddhist upbringing and beliefs and alcohol use disorders in Thai men.

Three groups, comprising 144 non/infrequent/light drinkers, 77 hazardous/ harmful drinkers and 91 alcohol dependents were interviewed regarding their early religious life and current religious practices and beliefs. No protective association was shown between early religious life and later alcohol use disorders; indeed, having lived as a boy in a temple for a period was commoner in those with adult alcohol problems.

Few subjects reported frequent involvement in current religious activities (9, 8 and 6% in the non/infrequent/light drinkers, hazardous/harmful drinkers, and alcohol dependents respectively). Hazardous/harmful drinkers and alcohol dependents (OR = 0.5, 95% CI = 0.2–0.9) were less likely to report being moderately to strongly religious, than were non/infrequent/light drinkers.

What happens if a Buddhist drink alcohol?

Alcohol’s intoxicating property of clouding the mind is generally considered detrimental to a Buddhist practitioner’s endeavors in achieving states of mental clarity and insight, and heedlessness caused by alcohol is considered to be a cause for committing negative deeds (, p.

Do Buddhists have alcohol?

Buddhism – Observant Buddhists typically avoid consuming alcohol ( surāmerayamajja, referring to types of intoxicating fermented beverages ), as it violates the 5th of the Five Precepts, the basic Buddhist code of ethics and can disrupt mindfulness and impede one’s progress in the Noble Eightfold Path,

What is forbidden for Buddhist?

Plaque with the five precepts engraved in English, Lumbini, Nepal

Translations of five precepts
Sanskrit pañcaśīla ( पञ्चशील ), pañcaśikṣapada ( पञ्चशिक्षपद )
Pali pañcasīla, pañcasīlani, pañcasikkhāpada, pañcasikkhāpadani
Burmese ပဉ္စသီလ ငါးပါးသီလ ( MLCTS : pjɪ̀ɰ̃sa̰ θìla̰ ŋá bá θìla̰ )
Chinese 五戒 ( Pinyin : wǔjiè )
Indonesian Pancasila
Japanese 五戒 ( Rōmaji : go kai )
Khmer បញ្ចសីល, និច្ចសីល, សិក្ខាបទ៥, សីល ៥ ( UNGEGN : Panchasel, Necchasel, Sekkhabot pram, Sel pram )
Korean 오계 五戒 ( RR : ogye )
Mon သဳ မသုန် ( )
Sinhala පන්සිල් ( pan sil )
Tibetan ཚུལ་ཁྲིམས་ལྔ་ tshul khrims lnga
Tagalog Limang utos ( Baybayin : ᜎᜒᜋᜅ᜔ ᜂᜆᜓ︀ᜐ᜔ )
Thai เบญจศีล, ศีล ๕ ( RTGS : Benchasin, Sin Ha )
Vietnamese 五戒 Ngũ giới
Glossary of Buddhism

The five precepts ( Sanskrit : pañcaśīla ; Pali : pañcasīla ) or five rules of training ( Sanskrit : pañcaśikṣapada ; Pali : pañcasikkhapada ) is the most important system of morality for Buddhist lay people, They constitute the basic code of ethics to be respected by lay followers of Buddhism.

  1. The precepts are commitments to abstain from killing living beings, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and intoxication.
  2. Within the Buddhist doctrine, they are meant to develop mind and character to make progress on the path to enlightenment,
  3. They are sometimes referred to as the Śrāvakayāna precepts in the Mahāyāna tradition, contrasting them with the bodhisattva precepts,

The five precepts form the basis of several parts of Buddhist doctrine, both lay and monastic. With regard to their fundamental role in Buddhist ethics, they have been compared with the ten commandments in Abrahamic religions or the ethical codes of Confucianism,

The precepts have been connected with utilitarianist, deontological and virtue approaches to ethics, though by 2017, such categorization by western terminology had mostly been abandoned by scholars. The precepts have been compared with human rights because of their universal nature, and some scholars argue they can complement the concept of human rights.

The five precepts were common to the religious milieu of 6th-century BCE India, but the Buddha’s focus on awareness through the fifth precept was unique. As shown in Early Buddhist Texts, the precepts grew to be more important, and finally became a condition for membership of the Buddhist religion.

When Buddhism spread to different places and people, the role of the precepts began to vary. In countries where Buddhism had to compete with other religions, such as China, the ritual of undertaking the five precepts developed into an initiation ceremony to become a Buddhist layperson. On the other hand, in countries with little competition from other religions, such as Thailand, the ceremony has had little relation to the rite of becoming Buddhist, as many people are presumed Buddhist from birth.

Undertaking and upholding the five precepts is based on the principle of non-harming ( Pāli and Sanskrit : ahiṃsa ). The Pali Canon recommends one to compare oneself with others, and on the basis of that, not to hurt others. Compassion and a belief in karmic retribution form the foundation of the precepts.

  1. The first precept consists of a prohibition of killing, both humans and all animals. Scholars have interpreted Buddhist texts about the precepts as an opposition to and prohibition of capital punishment, suicide, abortion and euthanasia. In practice, however, many Buddhist countries still use the death penalty. With regard to abortion, Buddhist countries take the middle ground, by condemning though not prohibiting it fully. The Buddhist attitude to violence is generally interpreted as opposing all warfare, but some scholars have raised exceptions found in later texts.
  2. The second precept prohibits theft and related activities such as fraud and forgery.
  3. The third precept refers to sexual misconduct, and has been defined by modern teachers with terms such as sexual responsibility and long-term commitment.
  4. The fourth precept involves falsehood spoken or committed to by action, as well as malicious speech, harsh speech and gossip.
  5. The fifth precept prohibits intoxication through alcohol, drugs, or other means. Early Buddhist Texts nearly always condemn alcohol, and so do Chinese Buddhist post-canonical texts. Smoking is sometimes also included here.

In modern times, traditional Buddhist countries have seen revival movements to promote the five precepts. As for the West, the precepts play a major role in Buddhist organizations. They have also been integrated into mindfulness training programs, though many mindfulness specialists do not support this because of the precepts’ religious import.

Do Buddhists smoke or drink?

Buddhism – In Buddhism, smoking is not explicitly prohibited and Buddhist communities have generally tolerated the practice. A definite Buddhist view towards smoking is ambiguous, and attitudes towards it vary from positive to negative; which vary by institution, teaching, and personal views.

  1. The question of smoking isn’t considered a significant Buddhist issue, unlike other topics like the consumption of meat.
  2. In some southeast Asian Buddhist countries, smoking is prevalent among the population at large and to a certain extent among Buddhist monks, too.
  3. There have however been some active anti-smoking campaigns in certain Buddhist communities to help Buddhists quit smoking, and create smoke-free temples and religious sites.

It is generally regarded as impolite for visitors to smoke inside pagodas or other Buddhist sites.

What is the biggest sin in Buddhism?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Ānantarya Karma ( Sanskrit ) or Ānantarika Kamma ( Pāli ) are the most serious offences in Buddhism that, at death, through the overwhelming karmic strength of any single one of them, bring immediate disaster. Both Buddhists and non-Buddhists must avoid them at all costs.

  1. Killing one’s mother
  2. Killing one’s father
  3. Killing an Arahant
  4. Wounding a Tathagata
  5. Creating schism in the Sangha ( Anguttara iii 440 )

Ānantarika Kamma is so serious that even Amitabha Buddha abandoned all hope. His Vow 18 reads: “If I attain Buddhahood and a sentient being aspires with faith and joy to be reborn in my Sukhavati Pure Land: if they recite my name just ten times and, in spite of this, are not reborn there, then may I myself not attain enlightenment,

  1. Physically obstructing the Lord Buddha’s path
  2. Rejecting the Lord Buddha’s claim to supernatural insight
  3. Accusing the Lord Buddha or an Arhat of sexual misconduct
  4. Wounding an Arhat
  5. Raping ordained monastics

Can Buddhist drink coffee?

Buddhism – Buddhists are incredibly careful about their approach to life, meticulously choosing paths to guide them to enlightenment. While the jury is still out on coffee consumption, most Buddhists believe coffee in moderation is perfectly fine, as long as it does not interfere with the fifth precept, a guideline of morals for practicing Buddhists. A statue of Buddha. Photo by Rohan Reddy on Unsplash.

What religion can’t drink alcohol?

What does the Quran say about alcohol? – Drinking alcohol is considered haram, or forbidden, in Islam. As proof of the prohibition, Islamic scholars and Muslim religious authorities typically point to a verse in the Quran, the Muslim holy book, that calls intoxicants “the work of Satan” and tells believers to avoid them.

Can Buddhist smoke cigarettes?

The Buddhist View on LGBTQ and Smoking A LOT has been said, is being said, about how Buddhists perceive LGBTQ and smoking. The debate was reignited after Bhutan temporarily lifted its infamous smoke ban during the Covid-19 national lockdown. With Bhutan becoming the newest country to decriminalize homosexuality, the debate has expanded.

The conclusion from the Western media is that both LGBTQ and smoking are the banes of the Buddhist society and regarded as morally bad in Buddhism, even as the restrictions were being eased in Bhutan, a staunch Buddhist nation, indicating that it reflected the core Buddhist view and practice as taught by the Buddha Himself.

Nothing could be further from the truth, said Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, the Bhutanese lama, thinker, writer and filmmaker as he weighed in on the debate. Talking to the writer, he said such perceived Buddhist attitudes toward LGBTQ and smoking were a reflection of culture rather than actual Buddhist teachings.

  • But it also doesn’t mean smoking doesn’t kill.
  • By decriminalizing homosexuality, Bhutan becomes the latest nation to take steps to ease restrictions on same-sex relationships.
  • What is the Buddhist view on LGBTQ, and on sex in general? As a citizen of Bhutan, I am very proud that Bhutan is taking the great and timely step of decriminalizing homosexuality.

As a Buddhist, our path doesn’t allow sexual misconduct or abuse of any kind, but there is no sutra (collection of teachings that the Buddha gave), shastra or tantra that has ever singled out sex as dirty, sinful or taboo. So that’s just not an issue for us.

Rather, Buddhists look at whatever may lead us to desire, lust and greed with caution and awareness. But that is not just sex. It could be food, any kind of material gain, or power, which corrupts our minds in the most subtle ways. So sexual orientation should never even have been a fundamental issue for a Buddhist.

In fact, as followers of the Mahayana Buddhism, which is what Bhutan officially practices, we should respect and even cherish different lifestyles and ways of thinking. And we should oppose any kind of prejudices, and eradicate the attitude that everything has to be “my way or the highway.” So, coming from a country where most citizens are Buddhist, I am very happy that the government of Bhutan has taken this important step.

At the same time, we know that it’s not easy to get rid of old habits, prejudices and discrimination – not just in Bhutan but, as we’ve seen, in societies in the west that claim to be the most advanced, open and liberal in the world. But we have to do our best. It’s also worth noting that Bhutan’s penal code was drafted and came into effect in 2004.

And like many other things we adopted from India, such as the attitude of bureaucrats and the usage of English, many of our written laws too were based on India’s penal code, which in turn was largely drafted by the British over 200 years ago. So, in fact, seeing sodomy as “unnatural” is rooted in religions quite different from ours.

  1. There is this international perception that Buddhists see smoking as a sin.
  2. Some of our own media has claimed Guru Rinpoche himself was against the use of all forms of tobacco.
  3. What is the Buddhist view on smoking and tobacco? Any international perception that Buddhists see smoking and tobacco use as a sin is simply wrong.
See also:  Does Alcohol Break A Fast?

For a start, Buddhists don’t even have a concept of sin. And in many Theravada countries with large Buddhist populations who practise the most orthodox school of Buddhism, even monks smoke. So, becoming a Buddhist certainly doesn’t mean you have to give up smoking or other tobacco products.

  1. Having said that, Buddhism does discourage consumption of any kind of intoxicants.
  2. That’s because we’re concerned about seeing the truth, and anything that deters us from that is regarded as an obscuration.
  3. So by choice, a Buddhist may choose to take a precept not to take intoxicants, which includes not only all kinds of drugs but also alcohol.

Unfortunately, moral codes of conduct, which are often based on cultural prejudices, are later misinterpreted as Buddhist codes of conduct. So it’s ironic, for example, that Bhutan condemns tobacco but not alcohol, even though both are intoxicants and cause harm and havoc in our society.

Some Bhutanese really look down on puffing substances through a glass water hookah, but such taboos are created by humans and have nothing to do with Buddhism. Since you asked about Guru Rinpoche’s view on this, it’s important to remember that the Vajrayana is very vast and completely undogmatic. From a strict Vajrayana perspective, therefore, any dualistic distinction, including those embodied in socially accepted norms, can be challenged.

So, in order to challenge the traditional Indian Brahmanic contempt for meat and alcohol, for example, the Vajrayana deliberately uses those substances. But that should never be interpreted as meaning the Vajrayana allows or encourages meat and alcohol.

  • It must be seen as a Vajrayana practice of non-differentiation.
  • From that perspective, it’s true that some ‘treasure teachings,’ which are all very much associated with Guru Rinpoche, do give specific, serious warnings about tobacco and smoking.
  • But many scholars speculate that these warnings were aimed at substances like opium that can really degenerate the channels, chakras and pranas.

Aside from that, there is actually no root tantric text that specifically or clearly mentions any prohibition on smoking or tobacco.

By Kencho Wangdi (Bonz) The writer is a former editor of Kuensel and can be reached at @bonzk on Instagram Message from The Bhutanese Dear Reader, Advertise with The Bhutanese for your money’s worth Whether you are a government agency or a private business, the COVID-19 Pandemic and its economic impact means every Ngultrum counts when you want to advertise a tender, vacancy, public notification or your business. Advertise with The Bhutanese which is the only newspaper in Bhutan that reaches all 20 Dzongkhags according to a 2019 BICMA Circulation Audit. Apart from being widely read we also place your advertisements in our popular Facebook and Twitter pages which have more followers than all other private media combined. Our rates are far more reasonable than those of state owned media outlets. Contact us at: Mb Nos 77351243, 17231307, 17255501 (At all hours and holidays) Landline: 335605 Fax: 02 335593 (9 am to 5 pm)

Email: [email protected] (At all hours and holidays) : The Buddhist View on LGBTQ and Smoking

Why can’t Buddhist eat garlic?

Alcohol and other restrictions – Another ethical teaching of Buddhism prohibits intoxication from alcohol given that it clouds the mind and can lead you to break other religious rules. Still, lay followers of the religion often disregard this teaching, as some traditional ceremonies incorporate alcohol.

What is disrespectful to Buddhism?

Do not place images or statues of Buddha as if they were furniture or decorative objects. Don’t place a Buddha statue in the middle of a table. Don’t place a Buddha statue in the toilet. Don’t place Buddha statues in bars or restaurants.

Can Buddhists eat meat?

There are not set dietary laws in Buddhism, customs vary with region. Vegetarian is common due to the principle of nonviolence and the avoidance of suffering. Theravada and Mahayana: often do not eat meat and fish, some are vegan.

Can Buddhist be married?

Buddhism and romantic relationships Perspective of Buddhism on romantic relationships

This article has multiple issues. Please help or discuss these issues on the, ()

This article may be in need of reorganization to comply with Wikipedia’s, Please help by to make improvements to the overall structure. ( October 2018 ) ( )

table>

This article’s tone or style may not reflect the used on Wikipedia, See Wikipedia’s for suggestions. ( October 2018 ) ( )

)

table>

Part of on

has very views in regards to, Buddhism encourages independence through, In order to be happy and to follow the path of, Buddhism teaches people to discard all things in life that can cause pain. This idea is not referring to worldly objects in the physical sense, but in a sense.

  • To achieve Nonattachment, one must detach from the idea of a perfect person and holding one’s partner to an impossible standard.
  • Instead, one must accept a partner for who they are unconditionally.
  • In Buddhism, this is the key to a good relationship.
  • Accepting a partner for who they are throughout their life no matter what changes and making the best of every situation is how one achieves personal fulfillment in a romantic relationship.

The idea of is essentially what Buddhism teaches. is a that has changed vastly throughout the course of history. People married for a variety of reasons including status, wealth, power, and love. Buddhist text does not delve too deeply into the idea of because Buddhism leaves the decision to marry up to each individual person.

In Buddhism, marriage is not a religious obligation, a means for, or a romantic notion of love. It is simply an option for each individual to make. If an individual believes marriage will bring them happiness and keep them on the path of enlightenment, then they are free to make that choice. Buddhism allows for each person to make the decision of whether or not they want to be married, how many children they want to have, and who they want to marry.

Buddhism does not provide rules or traditions about marriage. Instead, the philosophy offers advice to help a person live happily within a marriage. This advice is thought to help give people the best chance at a happy romantic relationship. In Buddhist text, the thought that the biggest hurdle in marriage is spousal weakness for other partners.

  1. He saw the weakness and trouble that other romantic interests can bring to a family and advised against it.
  2. Buddhists do not prohibit, but the idea of living the Buddhist would suggest that divorce is not needed.
  3. If a person is living by the ideals of Buddhism and accepting someone for who they are and following the path of, it stands to reason that they would never need a divorce because they would be satisfied with their marriage and their partner.

Nonetheless, Buddhist text also states that separation is preferable to being miserable for a prolonged period of time. The philosophy prefers that a couple separate rather than live together and be counterproductive to personal fulfillment and enlightenment.

  • Buddhism also states that to prevent divorce, older men should not have younger wives and older women should not have younger husbands.
  • The claim was that the would make them incompatible and cause problems leading to divorce.
  • Overall, Buddhism says that any person is free to divorce, especially if it is hindering their path to,

However, it makes the important distinction that living a Buddhist lifestyle would mean creating a happy and strong relationship that would not end in divorce.

Why do Buddhist shave their hair off?

Why Do Buddhist Monks Shave Their Heads? The practice of cutting your hair or shaving your head for religious purposes is also known as tonsure. Tonsure has been around since the medieval Catholic times but was then abandoned in 1972 by the papal order. In modern times, tonsure refers to cutting or shaving hair by monks or religious devotees.

What are the 5 unforgivable sins in Buddhism?

anantarika-karma, (Sanskrit: “the deed bringing immediate retribution”), Pali anantarika-kamma, in the Theravada (“Way of the Elders”) tradition of Buddhism, a heinous sin that causes the agent to be reborn in hell immediately after death. There are five sins of this kind: killing one’s mother, killing one’s father, killing an arhat (saint), injuring the body of a buddha, and causing a division in the Buddhist community,

What are the 5 poisons in Buddhism?

Contemporary glosses – Contemporary translators have used many different English words to translate the term kleshas, such as: afflictions, passions, destructive emotions, disturbing emotions, etc. The following table provides brief descriptions of the term kleshas given by various contemporary Buddhist teachers and scholars:

English/Sanskrit term used Description Source
Afflictive emotions . those mind states that cause suffering, such as depression, fear, hatred, anger, jealousy and so on – it’s a long list! Joseph Goldstein, The Emerging Western Buddhism: An Interview with Joseph Goldstein,
Afflictive emotions In general, any defilement or emotion which obscures the mind. They are often summarized as three: ignorance, attachment and aversion. All other negative predispositions are produced on the basis of these three. Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen (2009). A Complete Guide to the Buddhist Path,p.451 (from the glossary)
Afflictions Mental factors that produce states of mental torment both immediately and in the long term. The five principal kleshas, which are sometimes called poisons, are attachment, aversion, ignorance, pride, and jealousy. Longchen Yeshe Dorje (Kangyur Rinpoche) (2010). Treasury of Precious Qualities,p.492 (from the glossary)
Conditioning Factors or Mental Afflictions The processes that not only describe what we perceive, but also determine our responses. Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche (2008). The Joy of Living,p.115
Mental afflictions In Tibetan a mental affliction is defined as a mental process that has the function of disrupting the equilibrium of the mind. They all have that in common, whether or not there is a strong emotional component to it. Goleman, Daniel (2008). Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama, Kindle Locations 2553–2555.
Destructive emotions Fundamentally, a destructive emotion—which is also referred to as an ‘obscuring’ or ‘afflictive’ mental factor—is something that prevents the mind from ascertaining reality as it is. With a destructive emotion, there will always be a gap between the way things appear and the ways things are. Goleman, Daniel (2008). Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama, Kindle Locations 1779–1781.
Defilements These are unskilful factors such as greed, hate, delusion, opinionatedness and lack of moral concern. Whereas the term ‘ hindrance ‘ refers to five sticking points, ‘defilement’ is often used without any definite list, but to refer to any function of the mind which is led by unskilful factors. Ajahn Sucitto (2011). Meditation, A Way of Awakening, Amaravati Publications.p.263. (from the glossary)
Kleshas Kleshas are the strong conflicting emotions that spin off and heighten when we get caught by aversion and attraction. Pema Chodron, Signs of Spiritual Progress, Shambhala Sun.
Kleshas Kleshas are properties that dull the mind and are the basis for all unwholesome actions. The three main kleshas are passion, aggression, and ignorance. Chögyam Trungpa, The Truth of Suffering and the Path of Liberation, Edited by Judy L. Lief. Shambhala.p.134 (from the glossary)
Kleshas The basic idea is that certain powerful reactions have the capacity to take hold of us and drive our behavior. We believe in these reactions more than we believe in anything else, and they become the means by which we both hide from ourselves and attempt to cope with a world of ceaseless change and unpredictability. The three poisons of greed, hatred, and ignorance are the classic Buddhist examples, but others include conceit, skeptical doubt, and so-called “speculative” views, Mark Epstein, Going on Being: Buddhism and the Way of Change, a Positive Psychology for the West, http://www.quietspaces.com/kleshas.html
Kleshas The emotional obscurations (in contrast to intellectual obscurations), usually translated as “poisons” or “defilements.” The three main klesas are ignorance, hatred, and desire. The five klesas include these three along with pride and envy. Thrangu Rinpoche (1993). The Practice of Tranquility & Insight: A Guide to Tibetan Buddhist Mediation (p.152). Snow Lion. Kindle Edition.p.152 (from the glossary)

Are Buddhists forgiving?

In Buddhism, forgiveness is not presented as a moral commandment. Instead, it is a way to end suffering. It is a way to bring dignity and harmony to our life. So forgiveness is a crucial step to having peace of mind.

How do Buddhists respond to evil?

Every religion has its own way of explaining human suffering and the concept of evil. For Buddhists, understanding the causes of suffering and rejecting evil is part of the route to enlightenment.

  • Test
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. Page 2 of 4

Most Buddhists believe that the negative actions and beliefs of human beings such as greed, anger and ignorance give rise to evil. These three things stop Buddhists from reaching enlightenment, Buddhists do not believe that human beings are evil, but they generally accept that humans create suffering through their greed, anger and ignorance.

What is the punishment in Buddhism?

Buddhism and capital punishment – Because Buddhism exists in many forms, under many organisations, there is no unified Buddhist policy on capital punishment. In terms of doctrine the death penalty is clearly inconsistent with Buddhist teaching. Buddhists place great emphasis on non-violence and compassion for all life.

  1. The First Precept requires individuals to abstain from injuring or killing any living creature.
  2. The Buddha did not explicitly speak about capital punishment, but his teachings show no sympathy for physical punishment, no matter how bad the crime.
  3. An action, even if it brings benefit to oneself, cannot be considered a good action if it causes physical and mental pain to another being.

The Buddha If a person foolishly does me wrong, I will return to him the protection of my boundless love. The more evil that comes from him, the more good will go from me. The Buddha

How are sins forgiven in Buddhism?

The Path of Forgiveness I remember the day that I realized I had finally forgiven everyone for everything. I had been doing the forgiveness practices of repeating phrases of forgiveness toward myself, toward those whom had harmed me, and toward those whom I had harmed for over 10 years at that point.

It had been a long and often painful process of letting go. My heart had been heavily defended for most of my life. As a child, my life had become so painful and confusing that I was suicidal. My parents divorced when I was two years old. My mother was struggling with addiction, my father was often unavailable due to his own commitment to meditation and teaching.

My mother remarried and had twins when I was five years old, and my stepfather was abusive. It was around that time that I began to contemplate killing myself. With the birth of my younger brother and sister, it felt clear to me that there wasn’t enough attention and love to go around.

I felt left out, abandoned and all alone. Suicide was my security blanket, my “get out of jail free” card. That was when I learned to close my heart. To shut down my emotional needs, to push away the feelings of vulnerability. That was also what led me to start getting high, and smoking and drinking. I learned early on that drugs took the edge off the feelings of despair and loneliness.

I began acting out, lighting fires, stealing, lying, and becoming violent. I suppressed my pain the only ways I knew how. I began to hate. I hated the world, and I hated myself and who I had become. I was 17 years old. While in jail for my third felony arrest, I began to meditate.

  1. I stopped taking drugs and drinking.
  2. I turned my attention inward and began the process of healing, a process that continues to this day.
  3. Ten years into my meditation practice, that moment of freedom from all conscious resentment or ill will toward anyone living or dead was the first time in my life that I truly understood the Buddha’s teachings on loving-kindness.

But along with the insight into the potential of an unconditionally loving heart, came a delusion: I thought that I would feel that way forever. I was somehow holding the mistaken view of permanence. I had been working hard for freedom; once I experienced a moment of it, I expected it to last.

But like everything else in this heart/mind and world, it was impermanent. The experience of forgiveness is a momentary release. In reality, we don’t and can’t forgive forever, only for that present moment. This is both good and bad news. The good part is that you can stop judging yourself for your inability to completely and absolutely let go of resentments once and for all.

We forgive in one moment and get resentful again in the next. It is not a failure to forgive, it is just a failure to understand impermanence. The bad news is that forgiveness is not something that we will ever be done with; it is going to be an ongoing aspect of our lives and it necessitates a vigilant practice of moment-to-moment letting go.

  1. Although it has been over 10 years since that first moment of freedom from the pains and resentments of my past, I still practice forgiveness on a daily basis.
  2. But it is no longer a chore; it has become a simple and natural way of responding to my heart/mind when feelings of hurt, fear, injustice, or betrayal arise.

I now understand that freedom from these negative feelings is not a distant goal, but is available right here in this moment. If I let go and respond with compassion and forgiveness, I will be free. If I continue to grasp and wallow in my painful righteousness, I will continue to suffer.

And of course, at times, I do still choose the path of suffering—but less and less often. Knowing that freedom is readily available has drastically changed my life. I no longer have to tolerate unnecessary sorrow. Traditionally in Buddhism, forgiveness is done through the practice of repeating phrases of forgiveness toward oneself, toward those who have harmed us, and toward those whom we have harmed.

Forgiving ourselves can often be the most difficult. The first step toward forgiving ourselves is understanding that the mind is not under our full control. Understanding this, we can then begin to influence our relationship to the mind. This gradual change in how we relate to the thinking mind leads to a change in how we relate to the past, to the anger we have been holding onto and to ourselves.

  1. As I began the long process of forgiveness, I found it much easier to forgive myself as a confused child than to approach my adult pain.
  2. Recognizing that, I placed a picture of myself as a child on the altar where I meditate.
  3. Every day when practicing meditation, I sent forgiveness to that kid who became the man who had experienced and caused great harm.

Gradually, I became friendly with the child in the photograph. I began to care about him and all the confusion he experienced. Eventually, I was able to forgive him—the younger version of me— for allowing his confusion to hurt me and so many others. From that place of understanding and mercy, I was then able to grant myself as an adult that same forgiveness.

Asking for forgiveness is the next piece of the puzzle. As a systematic meditative training, we go back through our lives and bring to mind everyone who we have caused harm. We take full responsibility and we ask for forgiveness. When we humbly accept that at times in our life we have been the aggressor or abandoner or unkind one, and we see that every time it was because of our own suffering and confusion, it becomes easier to see that those who hurt us were similarly confused.

It makes accessing compassion for our enemies a little easier. While some resentments seem to vanish forever, others certainly come and go. The most important thing to remember is that we must live in the present, and if, in the present moment, we are still holding onto old wounds and betrayals, it is in this moment that forgiveness is called for.

Find a comfortable place to sit. Relax into the sitting posture. Take a few moments to settle into the position by intentionally releasing any held tension in your face, neck, shoulders, chest, or abdomen. Bring your attention to the present moment through the breath awareness practice. After settling into the present-time experience of sitting with awareness of the breath, allow the breath to come and go from your heart’s center. Imagine breathing directly in and out of your heart. Feel what is present in your heart-mind and begin to set your intention to let go of the past through letting go of resentments. Say the word “forgiveness” in your mind and acknowledge how it feels to consider letting go. When you are ready, bring to mind some of the ways that you have harmed others, have betrayed or abandoned them. Include both the intentional and unintentional acts of harm you have participated in. Acknowledge and feel the anger, pain, fear, or confusion that motivated your actions. Begin to ask for forgiveness from those you have harmed:

“I ask for your forgiveness.” “Please forgive me for having caused you harm.” “I now understand that I was unskillful and that my actions hurt you, and I ask for your forgiveness.”

Pause between each phrase, bringing attention to your heart/mind/body’s reactions to these practices. Feel the feelings that arise, or the lack of feeling. Acknowledge the desire to be forgiven. If the mind gets too lost in the story and begins rationalizing and blaming, simply bring your attention back to the breath and body in the present moment, then continue repeating the phrases. Spend some time repeating these phrases and reflecting on your past unskillfulness, remembering to soften your belly when it gets tight with judgment or fear. Relax back into breathing in and out of your heart’s center. Take a few moments to let go of the last aspect of the exercise. Then begin to reflect on all of the ways in which you have been harmed in this lifetime. Remember that you are attempting to forgive the actors (those who took the action), not the actions themselves, and that, just as you have been confused and unskillful at times, those who have hurt you were also suffering or confused. Bring to mind and invite back into your heart those who have caused you harm. With as much mercy and compassion as possible, begin offering forgiveness to those who have harmed you, those whom you have been holding resentment toward, with these same phrases:

“I forgive you.” “I forgive you for all of the ways that you have caused me harm.” “I now offer you forgiveness, whether the hurt came through your actions, thoughts, or words.” “I know you are responsible for your actions, and I offer you forgiveness.”

Pause between each phrase, bringing attention to your heart/mind/body’s reactions to these practices. Feel the feelings that arise, or the lack of feeling. Acknowledge the desire to forgive. If the mind gets too lost in the story and begins rationalizing and blaming, simply bring the attention back to the breath and body in the present moment, then begin repeating the phrases again. After some time of asking for forgiveness, let go of the phrases and bring attention back to your direct experience of the present moment, feeling the breath as it comes and goes, softening the belly, and relaxing into the present. Attempt to let go of all levels of this exercise, relaxing back into the experience of your breath at the heart’s center. When you are ready, let go of the reflection on those that have harmed you and bring your awareness back to yourself. Relax back into breathing in and out of your heart’s center. Take a few moments to let go of the last aspect of the exercise. When you are ready, begin to reflect on yourself. Acknowledge all of the ways that you have harmed yourself. Contemplate your life and your thoughts, feelings, and actions toward yourself. Allow a heartfelt experience of the judgmental and critical feelings you carry toward yourself. Just as we have harmed others, there are so many ways that we have hurt ourselves. We have betrayed and abandoned ourselves many times, through our thoughts, words, and deeds—sometimes intentionally, often unintentionally. Begin to feel the physical and mental experience of sorrow and grief for yourself and the confusion in your life. Breathing into each moment, with each feeling that arises, soften and begin to invite yourself back into your heart. Allow forgiveness to arise. Picture yourself now, or at any time in your life, and reflect on all of the ways in which you have judged, criticized, and caused emotional or physical harm to yourself. With as much mercy and compassion as possible, begin to offer yourself forgiveness, perhaps picturing yourself as a child and inviting the disowned aspects of yourself back into your heart as you repeat the phrases:

“I forgive you.” “I forgive you for all of the ways that you have caused me harm.” “I now offer you forgiveness, whether the hurt came through my actions, thoughts, or words.” “I know I am responsible for my actions, and I offer myself forgiveness.”

Pause between each phrase, bringing attention to your heart/ mind/body’s reactions to these practices. Feel the feelings that arise, or the lack of feelings. Acknowledge the desire to be forgiven. If the mind gets too lost in the story and begins rationalizing and blaming, simply bring the attention back to the breath and body in the present moment, then begin repeating the phrases again. Send yourself a moment of gratitude for trying to free yourself from the long-held resentments that make life more difficult than it needs to be. When you are ready, allow your eyes to open and attention to come back into the room or space you are in.

Excerpted with permission from The Heart of the Revolution: The Buddha’s Radical Teachings on Forgiveness, Compassion, and Kindness, by Noah Levine, © 2011, Harper Collins. : The Path of Forgiveness

Do you have to give up alcohol to be Buddhist?

Buddhism and Addiction: A Buddhist Guide to Sobriety. The clear teaching of Buddhism is total abstinence from alcohol and drugs. However, like any religion, those who practice Buddhism are not immune from falling prey to substance abuse.

In which religion is alcohol forbidden?

The two sides of alcohol – Alcoholic drinks feature in many religions. Whether beer, wine, pulque (made from agave sap) in Central America, chicha (made from corn) in the Andes, or rice-based spirits in the Far East, all these fermented drinks are highly symbolic,

  1. The complex fermentation process requires skill and, if the result is sometimes unpredictable, this has been attributed to divine intervention.
  2. Wine very soon replaced the sacrificial offering of animal blood to the gods and was a way for people to commune with deities.
  3. The Catholic Church gave wine a sacred dimension, recalling the blood of Jesus Christ.

Alcohol can also be a symbol of excess and confusion. Consuming alcohol has psychotropic effects that can be pleasantly liberating or cause debauchery and social disorder. Some of the world’s religions have made a distinction between temperance, inebriation and drunkenness.

They disapprove of disorderly consumption of alcohol and only tolerate a certain level of intoxication in a clearly defined context. Buddhism and Islam condemn alcohol because it induces a loss of self-control. In the Sunni tradition, “alcohol is the mother of all vices and it is the most shameful vice” ( Sounan Ibn-Majah, Hadith 3371).

However, wine remains the promised drink in heaven.

Can Buddhist smoke cigarettes?

The Buddhist View on LGBTQ and Smoking A LOT has been said, is being said, about how Buddhists perceive LGBTQ and smoking. The debate was reignited after Bhutan temporarily lifted its infamous smoke ban during the Covid-19 national lockdown. With Bhutan becoming the newest country to decriminalize homosexuality, the debate has expanded.

The conclusion from the Western media is that both LGBTQ and smoking are the banes of the Buddhist society and regarded as morally bad in Buddhism, even as the restrictions were being eased in Bhutan, a staunch Buddhist nation, indicating that it reflected the core Buddhist view and practice as taught by the Buddha Himself.

Nothing could be further from the truth, said Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, the Bhutanese lama, thinker, writer and filmmaker as he weighed in on the debate. Talking to the writer, he said such perceived Buddhist attitudes toward LGBTQ and smoking were a reflection of culture rather than actual Buddhist teachings.

But it also doesn’t mean smoking doesn’t kill. By decriminalizing homosexuality, Bhutan becomes the latest nation to take steps to ease restrictions on same-sex relationships. What is the Buddhist view on LGBTQ, and on sex in general? As a citizen of Bhutan, I am very proud that Bhutan is taking the great and timely step of decriminalizing homosexuality.

As a Buddhist, our path doesn’t allow sexual misconduct or abuse of any kind, but there is no sutra (collection of teachings that the Buddha gave), shastra or tantra that has ever singled out sex as dirty, sinful or taboo. So that’s just not an issue for us.

  • Rather, Buddhists look at whatever may lead us to desire, lust and greed with caution and awareness.
  • But that is not just sex.
  • It could be food, any kind of material gain, or power, which corrupts our minds in the most subtle ways.
  • So sexual orientation should never even have been a fundamental issue for a Buddhist.

In fact, as followers of the Mahayana Buddhism, which is what Bhutan officially practices, we should respect and even cherish different lifestyles and ways of thinking. And we should oppose any kind of prejudices, and eradicate the attitude that everything has to be “my way or the highway.” So, coming from a country where most citizens are Buddhist, I am very happy that the government of Bhutan has taken this important step.

  • At the same time, we know that it’s not easy to get rid of old habits, prejudices and discrimination – not just in Bhutan but, as we’ve seen, in societies in the west that claim to be the most advanced, open and liberal in the world.
  • But we have to do our best.
  • It’s also worth noting that Bhutan’s penal code was drafted and came into effect in 2004.

And like many other things we adopted from India, such as the attitude of bureaucrats and the usage of English, many of our written laws too were based on India’s penal code, which in turn was largely drafted by the British over 200 years ago. So, in fact, seeing sodomy as “unnatural” is rooted in religions quite different from ours.

  1. There is this international perception that Buddhists see smoking as a sin.
  2. Some of our own media has claimed Guru Rinpoche himself was against the use of all forms of tobacco.
  3. What is the Buddhist view on smoking and tobacco? Any international perception that Buddhists see smoking and tobacco use as a sin is simply wrong.

For a start, Buddhists don’t even have a concept of sin. And in many Theravada countries with large Buddhist populations who practise the most orthodox school of Buddhism, even monks smoke. So, becoming a Buddhist certainly doesn’t mean you have to give up smoking or other tobacco products.

  • Having said that, Buddhism does discourage consumption of any kind of intoxicants.
  • That’s because we’re concerned about seeing the truth, and anything that deters us from that is regarded as an obscuration.
  • So by choice, a Buddhist may choose to take a precept not to take intoxicants, which includes not only all kinds of drugs but also alcohol.

Unfortunately, moral codes of conduct, which are often based on cultural prejudices, are later misinterpreted as Buddhist codes of conduct. So it’s ironic, for example, that Bhutan condemns tobacco but not alcohol, even though both are intoxicants and cause harm and havoc in our society.

  1. Some Bhutanese really look down on puffing substances through a glass water hookah, but such taboos are created by humans and have nothing to do with Buddhism.
  2. Since you asked about Guru Rinpoche’s view on this, it’s important to remember that the Vajrayana is very vast and completely undogmatic.
  3. From a strict Vajrayana perspective, therefore, any dualistic distinction, including those embodied in socially accepted norms, can be challenged.

So, in order to challenge the traditional Indian Brahmanic contempt for meat and alcohol, for example, the Vajrayana deliberately uses those substances. But that should never be interpreted as meaning the Vajrayana allows or encourages meat and alcohol.

It must be seen as a Vajrayana practice of non-differentiation. From that perspective, it’s true that some ‘treasure teachings,’ which are all very much associated with Guru Rinpoche, do give specific, serious warnings about tobacco and smoking. But many scholars speculate that these warnings were aimed at substances like opium that can really degenerate the channels, chakras and pranas.

Aside from that, there is actually no root tantric text that specifically or clearly mentions any prohibition on smoking or tobacco.

By Kencho Wangdi (Bonz) The writer is a former editor of Kuensel and can be reached at @bonzk on Instagram Message from The Bhutanese Dear Reader, Advertise with The Bhutanese for your money’s worth Whether you are a government agency or a private business, the COVID-19 Pandemic and its economic impact means every Ngultrum counts when you want to advertise a tender, vacancy, public notification or your business. Advertise with The Bhutanese which is the only newspaper in Bhutan that reaches all 20 Dzongkhags according to a 2019 BICMA Circulation Audit. Apart from being widely read we also place your advertisements in our popular Facebook and Twitter pages which have more followers than all other private media combined. Our rates are far more reasonable than those of state owned media outlets. Contact us at: Mb Nos 77351243, 17231307, 17255501 (At all hours and holidays) Landline: 335605 Fax: 02 335593 (9 am to 5 pm)

Email: [email protected] (At all hours and holidays) : The Buddhist View on LGBTQ and Smoking

Can a Buddhist marry a non Buddhist?

While Buddhist women must go through an administrative process to marry men of other religions, if both partners are non-Buddhist, their marriage falls under customary practices.

Adblock
detector