Refrain from intoxicating substances

Day 52.

I am drawn to Mindfulness, which draws its inspiration from Buddhism.

I recently read there are five key commandments – or precepts, that a Buddhist should strive to live by:

  1. Do no harm to other living things
  2. Don’t take what is not freely given
  3. No sexual misconduct
  4. No lying or gossiping
  5. Refrain from intoxicating substances

This is a massive simplification of a very important aspect of living a Buddhist life. You can read a bit more about this on Wikipedia.

I’m writing here to highlight the fifth precept of no alcohol. It exists because taking intoxicating substances leads to “heedlessness or carelessness” – the exact opposite of mindfulness. Plus, becoming intoxicated is very likely to lead to you to breaking one or more of the four precepts.

s I strive in my sobriet — it all makes perfect sense to me.

I was in Thailand earlier this year. Almost the entire population follows the Buddhist religion. I was freshly sober, and found it so very simple to not drink when I was there. It isn’t part of the culture. I am not counting the Tourist-infested places in Thailand, where drink is plentiful to please the foreigners. I loved living a life where alcohol was not part of the culture – and was not really even available.

It is the opposite in Ireland.  Alcoholism is rife here. This country has a pervasive drink culture. And the drunk Irishman is a stereotype believed across the globe.

We do have huge problems relating to drink. But the culture persists — and theres drinking for every occasion – plus a growing problem with binge drinking.

In fact there was a huge push in the last twenty years to get rid of the law prohibiting alcohol sales on Good Friday, which I believe has been in place since the 1930s. ONE DAY of no alcohol available to be purchased or served in Ireland.

The law has been dismantled this year.

And so I continue to strive to keep to the fifth precept.

I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating
drinks 
and drugs which lead to carelessness.

 

P.S. Tipping over to 60 days sober in 8 days! Wow!