The Fifth Precept: Refrain from Use of Intoxicants

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2002-06-24
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center

Series

Homework

What strategies do you employ to keep from paying attention? Which of your intentional behaviors dull your mind (shopping, surfing the Web, telephoning, emailing, eating, entertainment)? Can you feel the pain that drives these strategies? Are you able to access the pain without moving back into unskillful dulling behavior?

Practice a period of abstinence this week in which the drugging behavior is relinquished. For example, spend a day or more without turning on the computer, TV, or cell phone. The mind can be very irritable during detoxification. Be patient with the irritability. Replace the dulling behavior with the question, “Where is aliveness here and now?” Don’t allow the question to direct you towards more enjoyable alternatives, but toward your natural aliveness in this moment.

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