Author Topic: About not taking intoxicants  (Read 3018 times)

Monica

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About not taking intoxicants
« on: August 15, 2016, 12:14:09 AM »
I do my best to practice the five precepts and today I am wondering about the notion of not taking intoxicants. I understand that in order to train the mind it is in my best interest not to consume anything that might affect its clarity. With that in mind, wouldn't coffee count as one of the off limits substances? After all, my mind on coffee is not my normal mind.

I have been toying around with this idea for some time and I have avoided drinking coffee in the past for this reason. However, sometimes, especially when at work after a night of poor sleep, I get a cup, but always wondering if it would be best to avoid it altogether.

What does everyone think?

MarcT

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Re: About not taking intoxicants
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2016, 02:05:24 AM »
Personally I do not see coffee as an intoxicant. For some other people it might be.

Coffee can be a kind of "pick me up" but it doesn't lead me to any "higher state". In this case you should also avoid tea, red bull etc.....

Nicky

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Re: About not taking intoxicants
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2016, 02:27:31 AM »
I have never drunk coffee. When I used to work in an office, all the coffee addicts would get into the elevator with their trays of coffee.

When I lived in Thailand, the original 'Red-Bull' was what truck drivers & street brawlers drank.

 ::)

Jay-Eye

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Re: About not taking intoxicants
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2016, 07:17:35 AM »
Coffee is a stimulant, not sure if it's an intoxicant.
Plus I drink decaf...... B-)

rogp99

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Re: About not taking intoxicants
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2016, 08:05:59 AM »
« Last Edit: August 15, 2016, 08:07:57 AM by rogp99 »

MarcT

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Re: About not taking intoxicants
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2016, 11:13:02 AM »
https://www.healthambition.com/negative-effects-of-coffee/

Especially 7.

but they doesn't describe coffee as an intoxicant.

In the morning time I like to drink  my coffee. I don't mind.

Matthew

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Re: About not taking intoxicants
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2016, 01:03:21 AM »
Quote
Do not take intoxicants that lead to heedlessness

The whole thing matters. No intoxicant is perfect, some lead to heedlessness. Heedlessness leads to bad Karma (immediate consequences).

For most, one drink, or a couple of coffees is no big deal. It may make mindfulness less easy, less sharp, yet deal with that too. Work with it to be mindful.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Monica

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Re: About not taking intoxicants
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2016, 01:48:18 AM »
It may make mindfulness less easy, less sharp, yet deal with that too. Work with it to be mindful.

Thanks all for the replies. This, in my opinion, supports my initial assumptions. My cup of coffee is indeed making things more challenging in terms of mind training. To push this a bit, I could argue that taking other more universally admitted intoxicants can be approached in the same way?

Disclaimer, I am not advocating any intoxicants. I, myself, am a big proponent of reducing difficulties when it comes to my practice. It is challenging enough as it is.

TheJourney

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Re: About not taking intoxicants
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2016, 12:24:39 AM »
Coffee is not intoxicant, so it is okay.

Buddhism is gradual training. When you have attained certain level of insight or samadhi you only need 4 to 6 hours of sleep. You can give up coffee then.

Monica

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Re: About not taking intoxicants
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2016, 05:44:07 PM »
When you have attained certain level of insight or samadhi you only need 4 to 6 hours of sleep.

Thanks for this. I feel the craving building up right about now  ;)  I have so much work to do.  :D

TheJourney

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Re: About not taking intoxicants
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2016, 07:15:15 PM »
Monica,

At the 10 days vipassana retreat they do provide tea, so caffine is okay. Smile.

Sea Spray

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Re: About not taking intoxicants
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2016, 04:12:57 AM »
https://www.healthambition.com/negative-effects-of-coffee/

Especially 7.

but they doesn't describe coffee as an intoxicant.

In the morning time I like to drink  my coffee. I don't mind.

Until recently I considered coffee one of life's pleasures.

But I had been experiencing semi-regular headaches - which I attributed to work - and thought I'd try going without the coffee.

Two things surprised me. One, I didn't miss the coffee, and two, the headaches are gone.

behappy123

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Re: About not taking intoxicants
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2016, 11:06:57 AM »
Just my opinion...

Coffee would be just as mind altering as any food substance to calm a craving.  That means if the body is tired, one drinks coffee to stimulate it, which indeed does have a chemical mental effect.  Food would go in the same category because when one experiences hunger pangs, it means the bodies chemicals are going into unfamiliar range.  Eating food alters chemicals which in turn alters the mind.

Intoxicants however are something that the body actively tries to fight off and the effects, hallucinations, deep relaxation, increased dopamine, etc. have more lasting effects and are indeed actually harmful to the body.

IMHO if one is to live like a monk, one would consume as little as possible, eat only fallen fruits or vegetables as to not cause harm to a living vegetable, drink boiled water only.  The idea is to cause as much separation from the bodies cravings and needs to experience the full lightness of being...

Kind of impossible to achieve if one is to live in the modern world, which is why monks, rishi's, sadhus all remove themselves and go to remote areas.

The body isn't trying to fight off the effects of coffee or food (unless it's uncooked or molded) so you're good with coffee.

Sea Spray

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Re: About not taking intoxicants
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2016, 11:49:40 PM »
Not sure I'd go as far as to describe coffee as mind altering, but it can certainly be addictive. The body craves for the caffeine hit it is used to if it is deprived of it, and in my case the result was head-aches. From what I've read it is not uncommon for some people to get head-aches when their body feels under-caffeinated AND also if their body feels over-caffeinated.

TheJourney

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Re: About not taking intoxicants
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2016, 08:59:25 PM »
Practice takes precedence so I wouldn't worry about coffee.

Even rare red wine after having ate a lot of meat like steak is okay for health reason.

I think no intoxicant is because back then alcohol had high percentage, and some people may have gene where slightest alcohol can lead to alcoholism. Again, I don't drink except on rare occasion when I have had a lot of meat for dinner. I drink only a little bit to drain the cholestrol.

Sitting on floor for meditation is because back then chairs were not so prevalent.

Everything has a bit of historical context.

 

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