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The Second Precept: Refrain from Taking What Is Not Offered

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2002-05-13
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



This precept is about the tension between replenishing and reducing. There are many opportunities each day to strengthen generosity or selfishness. Living with the gross and subtle forms of this precept will show you the conflict between wise and unwise view. Use the following mantra this week: ”Where is generosity in this moment?” This question points towards the conflict between your self-interest and interconnectedness. Open to the contraction of heart and the lack of tolerance. Watch the subtle infractions of this precept, how you take disproportionately of time, space, and objects. Notice when you “take” advantage of someone. The most subtle form of this precept implies “taking just what is given” in the moment and not adding anything to it. Suspend your thoughts, conclusions, opinions, and views. Receive the moment just as it is.

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