Thursday, October 29, 2009

5 weeks and 5 precepts week 2

Welcome to week 2 of discussing the 5 precepts. Thank you Deb for your thoughtful input and contribution to the discussion.
As with week one the same levels of respect still apply with this week and the following weeks. Please and thank you.

The 2nd Precept:
Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I vow to cultivate loving kindness and learn ways to work for the well-being of people, animals and plants. I vow to practice generosity by sharing my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in real need. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others. I will respect the property of others, but I will prevent others from profiting from suffering or the suffering of other species on Earth.

2. Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami: I observe the precept of abstaining from taking that which is not given.

This precept has several levels to it, just as the first and can have many focal points of interpretation. My brief interpretation is to do you work well, do it honestly and respect others along your path. One view is being honest in the work you do and to honor the people you work for and the people who come to you for assistance (wherever you work).

In addition to the practice of respecting one another in our interactions of our employment it also includes the work done to assist the community in which you live. That it can be seemed as selfish to not share of your time, resources or knowledge to create a better world around us. This interpretation can also help in the Buddhist practice of non-attachment. By not being afraid of losing things, money and so on, it helps to not create unhappiness at the possible moment of loss. This is more complicated and a whole discussion of it's own, but none the less here is something to look at.

Take this to the extreme way of looking and thinking of this precept. Imagine if it was okay for us to steal. Let us say that we were like Robin Hood and we were taking from the rich to give to the poor. This does not give any right to privacy and at what point does it become okay to cross to others to steal from. This could then create a state of turmoil and injustice, causing many levels of unrest.

Remember that any look at ourselves and the lives around us in a different way can seem absurd, scary and may seem insulting. I invite you to continue on this journey of looking at yourself and seeing how you can apply the precepts to your life or your current spiritual practice. The key word there being practice, because we are continually in a state of change and self improvement. Our will, is constantly challenged.

Peace and joy,

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