Results 1 to 34 of 34

Thread: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

  1. #1

    Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    Guilty :evil:

    Not even funny . . .

  2. #2

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    My remedy for breaking the precepts (especially due to anger):

    1) Get some nice rugs.
    2) Get an incontinent dog.

    I am serious. Bill, I meant to offer this advice months ago when we were discussing anger.

  3. #3

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    My name is Kelly, and I am also a precept breaker.

    I was actually just thinking about something along these lines today. But I try not to let it get to me. It adds spice to my life and is an undeniable part of my character.

    My favourites are when I unintentionally break a precept (usually speech related ops: )... really badly... and all I can do is laugh at myself. Open mouth... insert foot.

    How does that saying go? 'When on the zafu, watch the moment; when off the zafu, watch your mouth' ?

    Cheers and Gassho,
    Kelly

  4. #4

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    Hi,

    My name is Jundo and I am a Precepts breaker ...

    I had a fight with my wife last night. You guys would not have been impressed. I think it was about hiding the winter underwear (no kidding). Mina said she would film it for next time, and I can post me in my "irate husband" mode.

    The suggestion about the dog and rug ... superb!

    Gassho, Jundo

  5. #5

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    . . .

  6. #6

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    Instead of just saying "I'm angry." It helps if you explain a bit more Greg. What happens when you get angry?

    Gassho Will

  7. #7

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    . . .

  8. #8

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    I keep catching myself lying. Not just "No, that doesn't make your butt look fat" lies. But really stupid, pointless lies. Like "Oh shoot, I was going to bring those papers in today, but I left them on the desk in the hall." When I really left them on top of the TV. Why would I even lie about that? Makes no sense.

  9. #9

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    Well. It doesn't help to worry about it too much. You make a mistake, then you make a mistake.

    Sorry. I don't get the post. You want to discuss upholding the precepts or you feel that you need advice? If you know your going to break a precept then, I guess, don't. Don't take it too serious. It seems this could lead to a "I'm not good enough for the precepts" attitude. Anyway, each person's gotta do it themselves for this one.

    To me the precepts are upheld when your practicing. Understanding is a major by product of practice. As we practice more and more we become more aligned with the precepts.

    Gassho

  10. #10

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    Maybe the precepts are meant to be a kind of koan. . . That the confusion they create in us is part of our off-the-mat Zen that helps us reconcile two conflicting worlds; the ideal and the real.

    I can't live up to them, but I vow to live up to them. Much like the 4 vows . . .


    A fellow precept breaker (especially when it comes to speech),

    Bill

  11. #11

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    I also find that one of the great by-products of the precepts is that they force you to observe and learn about yourself. What do you define as unacceptable according to each one?

    Is a beer OK from time to time? No alcohol at all? Not even mouthwash?
    Does it matter if the papers are on the TV when I said the table? What about white lies that save someone's feelings? Or to manipulate someone into doing something you think is the right thing to do?
    What is sexual misconduct?
    Etc. Etc.

    These are all simple example of the types of question that we really need to primarily answer ourselves (I think) and evaluate why we take the stand we take. And if we routinely break our standards, we have the opportunity to investigate why.

    I would try not to berate yourself too much Greg. You are no worse a person just because you now can see your 'transgressions' in comparison to someone who would commit them blindly. I once heard a saying that went something like "Buddhism is the path to the relief of suffering... if you should find that path introducing suffering into your life, re-evaluate your practice". Greg is perfectly Greg. I think.

    Gassho,
    Kelly

  12. #12

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    I have taken the Precepts in the Tibetan tradition. I am serious about following them but often find myself breaking them (Especially speech--that seems like a hard one for me too.)

    I believe that vowing to follow the Precepts means doing your very best not to break them. But of course we all will. The Precepts bring awareness to your actions. (e.g.,Whoops, I messed up on that action. Gee, telling the truth wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Is the alcohol in mouthwash truly against the Precepts? Is killing a mosquito that bites me OK?) Hopefully, practicing the Precepts will help you refine your actions over time. But it will always be PRACTICE.

    That is really what I like about Buddhism. There is no sin, only practice.

    BTW, I am looking forward to Jukai.
    Linda

  13. #13

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    Another chronic precepts breaker here. The fact that I've gone through Jukai does not change this. However, it does serve as a good reminder of my vows and practice.

    As a former practicing Catholic, I still harbor my share of Catholic guilt. In the past, I felt this strong need to go to confession every time I lusted or yelled at someone. But now, however badly I feel about breaking the precepts, I no longer beat myself up as I did in the past. A few things I like about Zen's attitude towards the precepts is that we are not expected to be perfect beings because of them, and that there are certainly times when we need to break them. Brad Warner made similar points in his very good article in the last issue of Shambhala Sun.

    Another thing that has helped me is Jundo's simple description of Zen practice and the precepts: being as helpful and healthful as possible towards self and others, while realizing there is no difference between the two. Perhaps this wasn't a conscious decision on his part, but to me, this is an eloquent restatement of the Ethic of Reciprocity (i.e., The Golden Rule). I think the Golden Rule is the simplest and most elegant statement of how to live ethically, but it's certainly not easy to live it (and there are times, as with the precepts, when it is necessary to break it for the greater good), but it's still worth trying our best to live in this manner. As we tell children in school, as long as we're trying our best, we're in good shape.

  14. #14

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    My name is Terry, and I've been breaking the precepts for years.

    This is a very interesting thread.

    There is no "code of conduct" that can cover all possible situations. Not even the precepts can do this. For example, there is the precept not to kill, but every living being must kill in order to eat. How do we reconcile this? I think one of the outcomes of Practice is that we cultivate a more accurate awareness of what we are doing, as we are doing it. So, if you are going to break a precept, you do it with eyes wide open, fully aware of what you're doing, aware of the guilt you may or may not feel, and aware of the repercussions of breaking the precept.

    The precepts create a foundation for us to discover right conduct for ourselves but, as we all know, "taking" the precepts doesn't guarantee right conduct.

    A spin-off thought - Is how we look at ourselves when we break precepts is indicative of how we look at ourselves and others when we/they make mistakes in general?

  15. #15
    Treeleaf Unsui Shohei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    2,937

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    My name is Me (aka Dirk) and I am a precept breaker.
    speech, anger and lies (to name a few) Definitely need more time on the cushion. As for dog + rugs... does cats + zafu & zabuton count? :P

    Gassho
    Dirk

  16. #16

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by lindabeekeeper

    That is really what I like about Buddhism. There is no sin, only practice.

    Linda
    I really like this . . . thanks, Linda.

    Terry wrote:
    A spin-off thought - Is how we look at ourselves when we break precepts is indicative of how we look at ourselves and others when we/they make mistakes in general?
    You are probably right, Terry.

    Bill

  17. #17

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    I am reading a disturbing but excellent book, "Auschwitz: A New History" by Laurence Rees. In it, Toivi Blatt, who risked his life to escape Sobibor, is quoted. While I do not think that most of us would take part in the atrocities of a death camp, Blatt's quote offers a sober reminder of why we must consistently reflect on our own behaviors and motivations via our practice and the precepts.

    Blatt states,

    "People ask me, 'What did you learn?' and I think I'm only sure of one thing - nobody knows themselves. The nice person on the street, you ask him, 'Where is North Street?' and he goes with you half a block and shows you, and is nice and kind. That same person in a different situation could be the worst sadist. Nobody knows themselves. All of us could be good people or bad people in these [different] situations. Sometimes when somebody is really nice to me I find myself thinking, 'How will he be in Sobibor?'"

    This reminds me of two well-known sayings: Socratesĺ ôThe unexamined life is not worth livingö and ôThere, but by the grace of God, go I.ö

  18. #18

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    Hi, I'm Lynn. I am one of the founding moms of Precepts Breakers Not So Anonymous.

    You know, I learned the most important stuff about precepts from Achalanatha:

    You will note that in his left hand he is holding a mala (buddhist rosary.) Sometimes this is a rope. Either way it symbolizes our willingness to bind ourselves with the precepts in order to find our true freedom.

    Now, here's the trick: when you bind yourself too loosely, the rope falls to your feet, you create an action, and the next thing you know your feet get all tangled up, you fall head over asswards into the nearest ditch and you got to crawl/dig yourself out usually in some embarrasing way.

    Alternatively, bind yourself too tightly and you become paralyzed of movement and you've probably hit the Xena nerve whereby you're cutting off the oxygen and blood to your brain and you will start to resemble some fairly fanatic types in the next 30 seconds. (oh how I love and miss Xena, Warrior Princess!!) Guilt of any kind really starts that noose effect second only to the impending Jukai ceremonies and the "I'm a worthless sot of an amoeba" yada that engenders.

    The beauty is remembering always that the only one with the power to tighten up or loosen your rope is you. Just watch for the balance point. Should feel snug, but not too tight...like your favorite shoes.

    So, dear Gregor, loosen up dood! We love you, man!!!

  19. #19

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    You will note that in his left hand he is holding a mala (buddhist rosary.) Sometimes this is a rope. Either way it symbolizes our willingness to bind ourselves with the precepts in order to find our true freedom
    .

    Don't know where you got that from Lynn, but it's incorrect.

    Fud§ My§-§ has never to my knowledge ever been depicted holding a nenju (mala).

    As for the rope symbolising our binding ourselves, that is totally incorrect.

    Fud§ My§-§ (Achalanatha) carries the kong§ kensaku (????) or vajra p??a in Sanskrit, which represents the love of Fud§ My§-§ for all sentient beings, by which he catches and uses the kong§ kensaku to bind the passions. The kong§ kensaku has at it's end the kong§ with which Fud§ catches and binds evil. The kong§ kensaku binds the four demons, and is represented in three stages with the example of the robber and the rope - 1) the robber is beaten with the kong§ (kai = the precepts), 2) he is tied with the rope ( = concentration), and 3) he is killed by the rope (e = wisdom).

    The sword of wisdom is held in the right hand, representing wisdom and the Buddha Dharma, and is used to kill evil thought. The kong§ kensaku is held in the left hand and represents concentration and the human condition. Fud§ My§-§ is a protector and guardian of the Law (Buddha Dharma).

    There is a form of Kannon called Fuk?kensaku Kannon who also carries the kong§ kensaku. The kong§ kensaku is not empty (fuk?) - that is, it binds the passions.

  20. #20

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by HezB
    That's one bad-ass Smurf!

    Greg, My Goodest of Good Men, don't rely on Smurfs; they're not real. Your goodness, on the other hand, is.

    Regards,

    Harry.

    LOL

  21. #21

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    . . .

  22. #22

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    I really don't feel like going into more detail, not really looking for that kind of help on this one. Just wanted to throw this out there along with it relates to Jukai and notion of vowing to adopt the precepts.

    Just my take on it, G, but when I take the Precepts, I'm vowing to live them, not perfect them. I'll never get it all right all the time. But like all other things in the Dharma, the vows are about intent, about the journey... not the retense of having "arrived."
    When I perfect the Precepts in my life, I won't need them any more. Until then, I have this wonderful guide I vowed to follow in my life to help me stay on track and maybe get there one day. But when I vow, when I take the precepts... that's the START of the journey, not the goal of it. And sometimes, I gotta expect the road to be bumpy. And, more often than not, I'll find it's because I let myself get distracted and either lost my place on the map or was too damned stubborn to stop and ask directions.
    Hope that made sense the way I said it.

  23. #23

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    Is a beer OK from time to time? No alcohol at all? Not even mouthwash?

    Dude... if you're that desperate for a beer, have it! I think even the Buddha would rathr see you drink a Heineken than drink mouthwash!! EEEEEEEWWWWWW!
    LOL :twisted:

  24. #24

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    Kevin,

    Funny stuff, lol. :lol:

  25. #25

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Jun
    Fud§ My§-§ (Achalanatha) carries the kong§ kensaku (????) or vajra p??a in Sanskrit, which represents the love of Fud§ My§-§ for all sentient beings, by which he catches and uses the kong§ kensaku to bind the passions. The kong§ kensaku has at it's end the kong§ with which Fud§ catches and binds evil. The kong§ kensaku binds the four demons, and is represented in three stages with the example of the robber and the rope - 1) the robber is beaten with the kong§ (kai = the precepts), 2) he is tied with the rope ( = concentration), and 3) he is killed by the rope (e = wisdom).

    The sword of wisdom is held in the right hand, representing wisdom and the Buddha Dharma, and is used to kill evil thought. The kong§ kensaku is held in the left hand and represents concentration and the human condition. Fud§ My§-§ is a protector and guardian of the Law (Buddha Dharma).

    There is a form of Kannon called Fuk?kensaku Kannon who also carries the kong§ kensaku. The kong§ kensaku is not empty (fuk?) - that is, it binds the passions.
    OK. Well, thank you. That's an interesting piece of iconographic information. I was told by several people that it was a mala so it's good to know what it "is." I guess I would extrapolate that the teaching I got isn't too far off the mark...it's just more practical and less tied into mythology. In other words, what greater love do we have than the offering of the precepts to help us learn how to be vigilant about restraining, catching, binding our "evil" (or, in other words, that which we do through body, speech and mind, which causes harm to ourselves or others) before it is let loose into the world? I would have to speak more with my old teachers to clarify these teachings and how they correlate with your own understanding.

    Based on my above understanding, which may be flawed and full of wretched horrors untold in the land of the heretical, it tends to keep me, personally on the straight and narrow.

    In Gassho~

    Lynn

  26. #26

  27. #27

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn

    I was told by several people that it was a mala so it's good to know what it "is."
    I would say that those several people haven't studied or know about Buddhist iconography, history, or practice.

    I guess I would extrapolate that the teaching I got isn't too far off the mark...it's just more practical and less tied into mythology
    .

    In other words stripped of it's original meaning, and reinterpreted. The various icons of Buddhism are mythological. They are representative of certain teachings that were fleshed out and defined centuries ago.

    I would have to speak more with my old teachers to clarify these teachings and how they correlate with your own understanding.
    :roll:

  28. #28

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    Hi Guys,

    I like that about everyone here is saying something similar about the Precepts: they are promises and aspirations, moment by moment. Like rodeo riders, we seek not to fall off the horse. But, when we fall, we take our scrapes and broken bones, dust off, get back on the horse (hopefully, we still can), learn what is to be learned, repair what can be repaired, and try not to do it again.

    Like that lasso of Fudo Myoo, if we cling too tightly to the reigns, or too loosely, well ... it is just as Lynn said in her lovely description.

    Which leads me to the next topics ...

    Jun said ...

    The various icons of Buddhism are mythological. They are representative of certain teachings that were fleshed out and defined centuries ago.
    This leads to the whole question of how we take these symbols and dieties, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of esoteric Buddhism when we encounter them in our Zen Practice.

    Personally, I take these as symbols for aspects of human psychology (greed, anger, ignorance, love, empathy, etc.) and for characteristic of nature and our universe (such as its power, violence, growth and retreat, change etc.) and as symbols for all Buddhist teachings on these things. In centuries past, in and out of the Soto Zen school, some folks took them more literally as actual entities, some not. Dogen (surprisingly for a man of the 13th century who had been first trained in an esoteric school of Buddhism - Tendai Buddhism), seemed --most of the time-- to take them symbolically.

    Yet, just because something is only "symbolic" does not mean that it is not real in a very real way. For example, for me "Kannon Bodhisattva" exists primarily as a symbol of Compassion. However, I know that Compassion truly exists in the universe, for there are real acts of Compassion all the time in our world ... So, to the extent there is Compassion as one potential in this universe, I believe there is truly a Kannon who stands as a symbol for that natural aspect of this universe! Whenever a sentient being exhibits Compassion, I believe that Kannon is right there!

    Does that make sense? (As I said on another thread, if I die and go to Buddha Heaven, and find Kannon actually sitting there ... I will bow and apologize for not believing in him/her more literally).

    But do we care if Fudo Myoo is holding a rope, a Mala or a set of fuzzy dice from my dashboard? I find it hard to do so. Although these symbols stand for teachings that, as Jun says, "were fleshed out and defined centuries ago", I am more flexible about how we can look at these things. As with the symbol of Jesus in Christianity, who comes in a variety of personalities (Warrior against Heathens Jesus, Gentle Jesus, Hippie "Jesus Christ Superstar" Jesus), I think there is room to "flesh out" these symbols in different ways.

    The Teachings of the Buddha are Universal, Timeless ... yet many are subject to change for different times, cultures, situations and human needs. (Opinions like that are one of the reasons I have been twice booted off the conservative "E-Sangha").

    Finally, Harry's comment ...

    Are you making our sneaky little immoral, animal selves aswerable to your own highest ideals? Seems like a recipe for a bum gig, for discontent, for self loathing and the loathing of other selves.

    Isn't brow-beating and wincing over broken, or shoddily held, precepts the sort of self indulgence and discontent that Buddhism is supposed to relieve? Give us a break, Bro.
    I agree that this may work for our 'minor' falls off the rodeo horse ... a lie, a moment of anger, a bit too much drinking, sexual shenanigans or the like. But I am reminded of one of those terrible (yet wonderful for being so horrible) American TV shows I recently saw for the first time. It is called "Dexter", and is about a serial killer who is otherwise a really nice guy, and the charming and lovable "hero" of the story ...

    http://www.sho.com/site/dexter/home.do

    He basically offs somebody, then goes about his business as this really sweet guy. If somebody was using Zen Practice to excuse serial killing, well ... I think the Precepts do not stretch that far.

    (I know, Greg, that you did not describe the exact nature of your falling down ... I take it that it was not serial killing). :evil:

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS- Within the next couple of days, I will start of series of about 3 talks on the "Sit-a-Long" on SEX SEX SEX!!!! Be sure to catch them.

  29. #29

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by HezB
    Hi Jundo,

    Serial killing is sort of an extreme example, no?

    There are some very real excesses that are being excused in Buddhism that we could (maybe should) discuss.

    Regards and Happy St. Patrick's weekend to all fellow snakes & Heathens,

    Harry.
    Which did you have in mind (and how many of them will you be tempted to engage in during St. Patrick's weekend)? :?: :?: :?:

    If they involve harm to yourself or others ... it is best to refrain.

    Gassho, Jundo

  30. #30

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    There are some very real excesses that are being excused in Buddhism that we could (maybe should) discuss.
    Like What?

    G,W

  31. #31

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by HezB

    Re excesses in Buddhism... oh, you know:

    How it has been allowed to degenerate into a superstitious folk religion in many places (and the reasons for this are/is....?).

    How certain celebrity Buddhists are worshipped as deities.

    The burgeoning capitalization of Buddhism in the West, particularly in the USA, where its has been reduced to a 'spiritual commodity' much in the same way as certain christian movements portray themselves as providing salvation (or whatever) at the right price.

    The continued presence, and indeed insistence on (in cases), irrelevant Eastern fetishism in Buddhism in the West (I will certainly avoid the use of the term Western Buddhism in this context)... and is there a reactionary Western Buddhist fetishism developing?

    Regards,

    Harry.
    Oh, yes, I rather agree with all of that (as I think you know). Gassho, Jundo

  32. #32

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    irrelevant Eastern fetishism in Buddhism in the West (I will certainly avoid the use of the term Western Buddhism in this context)... and is there a reactionary Western Buddhist fetishism developing?
    I take it your referring to the need to adopt a culture as apposed to the teachings? I don't know. Yet although Buddhism (really I'm talking about Zen here) does have an Eastern feel in the West, it is rather Westernized. I think a lot of the forms and clothing and things work. Like the Kesa or even the Kimono (That's proabably really comfortable.) Anyway, Buddhism's been in Asia how long? It's been in the West how long? I mean it will probably seminate in a different way eventually. Little old me doesn't really have a lot to say about that.

    We have to kind of give some people a break I think. Well I will. I agree that if you take away all the Hocus Pocus you have what the Buddha was teaching. It's really such a practical thing. What you need is a mat, and a cushion. The only reason I can see for these things happening is misunderstanding the teachings. Really if you practice you'll see that the Dalai Lama is really well...I'll stop there. He seems like a good guy and helping a lot of people.

    And what would a anti marketing campaign look like?


    G,W

  33. #33

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    Jundo you exposed me thanks a lot, I guess I'll have to stop offing people. It was fun while it lasted.

  34. #34

    Re: Confessions of perpetual precept breaker

    Jundo you exposed me thanks a lot,

    Yeah! Normally, Gregor prefers to expose himself!
    (Wait... did that come out wrong?)

Similar Threads

  1. Confessions of an Ango Burnout
    By AlanLa in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-25-2010, 01:10 PM
  2. ants and the first precept
    By Borsuk in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 03-16-2009, 09:42 PM
  3. The precept and life's great compromises
    By Longdog in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 08-15-2008, 03:54 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •