Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Precepts for Warriors

     Initially I wanted to think about meat eating in the context of the precepts, but it occurred to me that there are many more challenges for practitioners who happen to find their dharma on the battlefield or on the street.  In the following posts, I would like to explore each precept in this context.

      I humbly submit that precepts as they are commonly known would be more accurately referred to as "Training Rule."  I have checked numerous sources and pañca-sikkhāpada appears to be accurately translated as training rule.  As most of us are intensely dedicated to our fitness, since that is directly related to our ability to save lives, we undertake a number of different trainings, exploring various techniques and finally adopting those that work best.  In my opinion, the same mental energy, inquisitiveness and criticism should be applied to our dharma practice.  In this spirit, I will be exploring the trainings, retaining that which is helpful, and culling that which is obstructive.

     In order to break the ice, I will be using the trainings as described below.  There are many translations and versions, and I don't care to quibble over which parsing means what.  The point is to focus on intent, and to thereby derive understanding followed by application of the trainings in the daily life of a warrior.

     Also, the order of the trainings may be a starting point for practice, but ultimately they are interdependent, and support one another.  So the common order of the trainings are as follows:

I will avoid killing or harming beings

I will avoid taking that which is not given

I will avoid false speach

I will avoid sexual misconduct

I will avoid intoxicating substances

     If anyone would care to share their experiences related to the "Trainings" in the context of conflict, your comments would be most welcome.

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