Author Topic: Contours of the 5 Silas  (Read 146 times)

Siddharth

  • Member
    • unlearning, relearning and letting go
Contours of the 5 Silas
« on: May 23, 2019, 04:04:23 PM »
hello everyone, hope everyone is treading the path gracefully. I have something to discuss here with you:

I am planning to inculcate the 5 Silas which are talked about (by goenka and hopefully in buddhist texts) in my life in order to have some guiding light as to doing/not doing certain things. I have found this necessary now as these days I am faced with decisions which put me into questions of right/wrong or wholesome/unwholesome.

not killing, stealing or taking drugs is not always easy, but one knows the boundaries there.
The ones I am particularly looking to define some boundaries for are:
1. no sexual misconduct
2. no wrong speech
(abstaining from the two)

Now I know for example, that Matthew in our Sangha has been celibate for a long time, which is not true for a lot of us. Perhaps we have to decide our own boundaries and limit ourselves within.
Being a single male, does having a hookup count as sexual misconduct? I would say masturbation and porn will be misconduct, but what about having a fling, or say friends with benefits. (these are not hypothetical questions, but decisions I am facing)
Similarly, I have a habit of cursing like a sailor around certain people close to me. I find it natural to clearly and succinctly express myself using curse words. can not figure out what wrong speech amounts to.

I am posting so as to gain some wisdom about the 5 silas with the aim of advancing on the path. being free of suffering (somehow I felt it necessary to mention this)

And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

dharma bum

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  • Certified Zen Master (second degree black belt)
    • vipassana
Re: Contours of the 5 Silas
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2019, 02:15:57 AM »
IMO, if you're not a monk, you should be accepting of relationships, including sex as part of the relationship.

Relationships, especially marriage are extremely hard and in fact test your internal resources more than life in a monastery can ever do. Having children is the best thing ever for your spiritual development. You think you're a calm and patient person? Wait until you are sleep-deprived for several months with an equally bad-tempered partner and have to juggle 15 things all on the verge of breakdown.

Some traditions like Zen are accepting of marriage even for monks. But ultimately, everyone makes the decision for themselves.

As for flings and one-night stands, I personally don't see anything wrong with them so long as they are done mindful of not causing any harm to yourself and others. But often, such things are itches that are scratched and then start to itch even more. People can get lost pursuing loveless affairs because relationships are too hard and require sacrifices.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 03:19:52 AM by dharma bum »
Mostly ignorant

Siddharth

  • Member
    • unlearning, relearning and letting go
Re: Contours of the 5 Silas
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2019, 12:41:08 PM »
This may help: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca4/samma-vaca/index.html
I went through this a few times. I have come to realize that following this is really very difficult(or so it seems from where I am at present).
At the same time, it does point in the direction I need to move. Thus, it did help.
Thank you, Matthew. How are you?

IMO, if you're not a monk, you should be accepting of relationships, including sex as part of the relationship.

Relationships, especially marriage are extremely hard and in fact test your internal resources more than life in a monastery can ever do. Having children is the best thing ever for your spiritual development. You think you're a calm and patient person? Wait until you are sleep-deprived for several months with an equally bad-tempered partner and have to juggle 15 things all on the verge of breakdown.

Some traditions like Zen are accepting of marriage even for monks. But ultimately, everyone makes the decision for themselves.

As for flings and one-night stands, I personally don't see anything wrong with them so long as they are done mindful of not causing any harm to yourself and others. But often, such things are itches that are scratched and then start to itch even more. People can get lost pursuing loveless affairs because relationships are too hard and require sacrifices.

This did shake something. Demanding relationships is something which I am not very comfortable taking on, at the same time I have the conditioning to judge myself and others for meaningless sex and the likes. My craving for physical affection, along with physically and mentally demanding career ambitions do not help either.

As long as meditating for a fixed amount of day is concerned, it is not very troublesome, once one has created a routine. But keeping equanimity and awareness in daily life, which is unpredictable and without any breaks is the key. It is a LOT of work, which somehow I have knowingly ignored for a few months now. Caused me suffering too.
But now that I am realizing this, it is time to smile and get back to work  ;D
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

dharma bum

  • Member
  • Certified Zen Master (second degree black belt)
    • vipassana
Re: Contours of the 5 Silas
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2019, 03:28:01 AM »
Quote
This did shake something. Demanding relationships is something which I am not very comfortable taking on, at the same time I have the conditioning to judge myself and others for meaningless sex and the likes. My craving for physical affection, along with physically and mentally demanding career ambitions do not help either.

As long as meditating for a fixed amount of day is concerned, it is not very troublesome, once one has created a routine. But keeping equanimity and awareness in daily life, which is unpredictable and without any breaks is the key. It is a LOT of work, which somehow I have knowingly ignored for a few months now. Caused me suffering too.

https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Confidential-Confessions-Wayward-Monk/dp/1611800331

This is a good book. (I'm not related in any way with the author or publisher)
Mostly ignorant

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Contours of the 5 Silas
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2019, 03:54:55 PM »
This may help: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca4/samma-vaca/index.html
I went through this a few times. I have come to realize that following this is really very difficult(or so it seems from where I am at present).
At the same time, it does point in the direction I need to move. Thus, it did help.
Thank you, Matthew. How are you?


Most things seem difficult. Approaching them step by step, and considering your own situation can simplify. Glad it helped - check back on it every now and again perhaps? - it can help you discern what is wholesome.

I'm doing OK thanks, not great but thank you for asking. My neck/spinal problems have become quite disabling, hence my relative absence from the forum.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

raushan

  • Staff
  • from India
    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: Contours of the 5 Silas
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2019, 09:42:19 PM »
Hi Siddharth,

From my personal experience following the Dhamma path is hard in the day to day life. For example some people do the work where they have to lie in their job. For example if you are working for a client you have to lie to the client sometimes about the progress of the project otherwise you will lose the client.

Similarly, there are many situations like I quit the alcohol completely for more than 3 years. But I have started to take beer in small amount now and then just to socialize with the people. May be I will quit completely in the future.

I realized giving up suddenly modern day norms is demanding so you can take the steps gradually not suddenly. I guess there will come a point when you may realize that having a fling might not be meaningful. or if it's more important for you to not lie rather than keeping the job. Then you can take the steps. But Giving up suddenly anything might cause you the frustration.

So experiment with things and then take the appropriate step.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 09:46:41 PM by raushan »