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Friday, December 25, 2009

What is Sila?

This means "Morality' and the Buddha advised us to observe the Five Precepts in the cultivation of Sila:

1. Abstain from killing any living beings.
2. Abstain from taking what is not given.
3. Abstain from sexual misconduct
4. Abstain from lying and flase speech
5. Abstain from the abusive consumption of intoxicants and drugs.

These Percepts are not commandment but are rules that Buddhists take upon thenselves to observe. They are observed not because of fear of punishment but because we realize that such actions harm others as well as ourselves.

For example,as we ourselves do not wish to be killed or harmed, we realize that all other beings also do not wish to be killed or harmed. Likewise as we do not wish to be victims of theft, adultery, lies and slander, we ourselves should avoid doing such acts to others.

The Buddha also strongly advocated avoiding intoxicants and drugs. This is because once you have come under the influence odf alcohol or illicit drugs, you are capable of committing any acts that you would not have done otherwise.

Should you break the Percepts, the Buddhist way is to be fully aware that you have done so, try your best to make amends, and then resolve to try harder from then on.

Morality is the foundation which everything else rests upon. It thus night be good to memorize the Five Percepts so that you can be mindful of them at all times.

And once the observing of the Five Percepts becomes an instinctive part of your behaviour, developing its positive aspects will come easily and naturally:

1. The practice of Harmlessness and Compassion
2. The practice of Kindness and Generosity
3. The practise of Faithfulness and Responsibility
4. The practise of Truthfulnessand Pleasant Speech
5. The practise of Self-control and Mindfulness.

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