I’m going through an emotional patch at the moment, but hope to resume normal service soon.
While looking at the five precepts, I decided that the ones I have issues with are honesty [exaggerating] & toxins [eating too much junk].
[The Irish Sea: July 2009. Entitled: A Mindful Moment]
In a basic sense, they are:
1. Don’t Kill (be kind/mindful)
2. Don’t Steal (be generous/frugal)
3. Do not commit sexual misconduct (be respectful/responsible)
4. Don’t Lie/Exaggerate/Deceive (be honest)
5. Refrain from intoxicating substances (be aware/mindful)
A couple of days ago, an insect, which looked much like a mosquito rested on my wall in my bedroom. Upon discovering I didn’t have a cup handy to put it out, I grabbed a bit of tissue, intent on ending it’s life swiftly.
The first precept came to mind: Do Not Kill.
So, I decided to leave it for a day and see how things went. When I woke next morning, it was sat in the same place, so I assumed it had not snuck off to bite me. End of day 2, it rested on a different part of my wall: yet I was free of bites, so left it.
BY early Day 4, it was flying around my room with a smaller fly. I’d had the window open, so it may have been a different one, but I turned off my bedroom light at around 2:45am today, turned on the hall light and left my door open. After 15 or so minutes, it flew out to sit on the wall beside the landing light. I turned that light off before returning to my room and turning my own light on so I could check around for any other bugs.
So murder isn’t the only option. This also resonates with something my Philosophy of Religion lecturer said yesterday about anger: It went something along the lines of “if we’ve had a bad day and are angry and they are happy: this will not do! How dare they be happy!”.
She spoke about the energy it takes to be angry with someone or with the world. If I’d killed that fly, it would have been out of anger; however small. it would have basically been “How dare you be in my room, this is my safety from pain and you’re here to harm me.”
Even for animals which can harm us [i guess humans can be included] we do not need to act in a harmful way. Choose Kindness (precept 1). It’s not difficult to make those first steps. It’s very difficult for me to do this with humans, so I started out with insects. I always put out spiders rather than kill them, but ants and flies; I seem to be prejudiced against. I guess that’s what I’m working on being more aware of (precept 5).
I’m still reading The Mindful Woman (64) and one of the pages I read last night mentioned choosing kindness in order to start a revolution. Will you choose kindness?
These are not commandments. They are paths to peace and, in the Buddhist philosophy, freedom/enlightenment. If any of these speak to you, could you maybe work on one? This is not a recruitment plan nor am I saying you SHOULD do any of these. It’s just something I feel I could work on.