Hi, sorry this might be a bit long winded, it's being brewing for several years if not longer :lol:
Recently with the precepts and jukai in mind, reading 'The mind of clover' , 'kyojukaimon' , amongst other things it's resurfaced with me how complicated these things are in life, particularly this modern globalised life.
There's one thing for certain the koan of life seems very evident at the moment from going to bed to getting up, in what I eat, drink, wear, travel in; the list of compromises I have to make seems endless if I want to feel I am doing right action, thought, speach, lively hood etc. etc......
One Roshi didn't like cut flowers on the altar, synthetic ones were better, the flowers aren't killed, but what about the whole industry and polution that is involved in sythetic/plastic products? I used to be vegan, had plastic boots, the same issue applied along with a whole many more.
Don't support China, don't watch the Olympics but how do I have the things I need in a modern life when they all come from there, from clothes, to toilets? And if I do find a way to avoid their products how to the millions of everyday people over there now make a living if we cut them off.
I don't smoke, hate it, and it's been banned over here in the UK, hooray! Don't drink either. But now pubs over here are closing left right and centre because of drink driving issues, not being able to smoke. They by cheap booze and fags at the supermarket and sit in with their big plasma screen at home. So now there's no village meeting place, no part-time bar jobs, darts teams etc....
I try to shop locally, to avoid the big supermarkets, by fresh local produce. But I'm on a very restricted income, so I find I have to use the supermarkets or pay way over the odds for my food. So local shops close, or put there prices up even more.
I have enormous issues(understatement) with American foreign policy and the actions of the US forces in various places, but I know that is not the sum total of America or Americans. Should I then boycot this forum? Not use my computer? Not use any American goods? Have no conversation with some one who happens to be in the US forces? Same can be said for China and Chinese, my sister in law is Chinese, her family are over there and used to be goverment officials, where do I stand in my relations to them?
Best stop wittering eh?
Anyway, I guess this is why the precepts are guidlines, not commandments, and the compromises are the skifull means we use to work our way through this koan. At the end of the day we do what we feel is the best we can given our personal circumstances at the time and have to sit with the un-easy feeling that may be could eek the balance a bit more in the 'right' direction, doing good and ceasing to do evil.
Is it impossible to truly fullfill all the precepts? At the moment I'd have to say yes. What do you think?
In gassho, Kev
P.S> Jundo I'm sure there'll be some great discussion comes out of that book, but blimey it's not one I would have bought for any other reason :lol: