The Fifth Precept

A very brave story — please read and share!

Melting-Pot Dharma

No subject is harder for me to write about than the role alcohol plays in our culture. That’s because I’m torn between my commitment to tell my truth here in Mel’s Mouth and my fear of offending relatives and friends. I have committed to, and believe in, the five basic Buddhist precepts — all five. I have agreed not to harm other beings, not to take what’s not offered, not to speak falsely, not to misbehave sexually, and, yes, not to consume intoxicants.

Those are not commandments, so sometimes I do swat an insect, and maybe once a month I take a drink. But I believe in the precepts, and you might say that I’m most passionate about Number Five, although I seldom show it.

I explained in a 2013 sermon why avoiding intoxicants is so important in Buddhism. It’s because Buddhism is all about living fully in the present moment…

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