Is it ok to take some alcohol occasionally?

It seems reasonable, but it is really hard to say. As has been pointed out, there isn’t any real hard evidence for other kinds of intoxicants, so whether the same term would have been used is impossible to say.

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I have nothing but the deepest respect for servicemen and women. It’s an irony that that the best few have to break some precept so that the rest can sit on their fat asses all day long discussing about precepts.

Pali word for abstaining or refrain from is “Veramani”

In your opinion that only way to make a better world is by breaking the precepts?

I think veramani is abstain…

Here’s my favourite quote on pamada:

The Blessed One said: "And how does one dwell in heedlessness? When a monk dwells without restraint over the faculty of the eye, the mind is stained with forms cognizable via the eye. When the mind is stained, there is no joy. There being no joy, there is no rapture. There being no rapture, there is no serenity. There being no serenity, he dwells in suffering. The mind of one who suffers does not become centered. When the mind is uncentered, phenomena (dhammas) don’t become manifest. When phenomena aren’t manifest, one is classed simply as one who dwells in heedlessness. SN35.97

Essentially heedlessness (pamada) is not just doing bad deeds, but it is also not doing samatha and vipassana. This fits in with the idea that once meditators find that even a bit of alcohol affects their mindfulness, they stop drinking.

with metta


It’s not the best way but an unavoidable way. If you can tell me a better way to deal with Gengis Khan, Hitler, Pol Pot, and countless other a…holes in this world, I’m all ears.

Perhaps by not doing the very evil actions those people were known for?

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Perhaps standing by watching 3 millions Cambodians butchered, 6 millions Jews gased to death, countless millions other people crying in agony a much worse evil?

And what was the Buddha’s attitude towards the soma drink, did he have anything to say about it or had the recipe been firmly forgotten before his day?

Sounds like you have already made up your mind on this - no point in arguing.

Best Wishes

I already said I’m all ears if you can provide a better alternative.

I suppose you need the last word - this is my last post regarding this topic. Be well.

Information, information, information. That’s all that matters. Be well.

Hello my dear Dhamma friends! This is a very interesting discussion and corresponds with similar feelings I’ve been having as of late. :grinning: I’ve been keeping the eight precepts for nigh on three and a half months now, and have been living in monasteries where one (obviously) has no access to alcohol. And thus, I haven’t broken the fifth precept, but I’ve broken some other precepts very occasionally - for instance, when I was in Scotland I would periodically go sing to the cows who lived in the glen.

I’ve spent some time being very angry and bitter with myself for not keeping the monastery a sila-ful place through my un-mindfulness. And then I realized something - that there was absolutely no point in being upset. The Vinaya, after all, is about forgiveness. This is not to say that one should continuously break precepts and dismiss their faults out of hand, but rather that when one does make a mistake they should be kind to themselves - and through that kindness there arises wisdom.

For me, I was drinking pretty much right until I went into the monastery, and I’ve had an off-again, on-again relationship with alcohol for the past several years. Reason being, mostly, because I like beer…:sweat_smile:. I just learned that I’ll be going to Germany in December on a trip and there will most likely be an abundance of alcohol served, and I’ve been anxious about whether or not I want to drink. And then I laugh at that anxiety and think about the Zen monks in Japan doing sesshin and then immediately drinking sake.

Will I drink in Germany? I have no idea. I’m taking it one moment at a time and trying to cultivate all of the sati, samadhi, and panna I can along the way. (And maybe, just maybe, that will be good enough.)


Hey Brenna,

Good on you! I would encourage you to go ahead and not drink, not because of hellfire and brimstone, but because nothing truly good can really come of it, and you don’t have to drink to have fun. I think you are probably at the point where you can see that this is true.

I hope you have an awesome trip!


Monastics are an example to others, so I think they should uphold precepts much more stringently than lay people! After giving up any reason to drink alcohol, it is the one precept I do strictly uphold. It gives me a nice feeling to know I keep this one precept 100%. But it is enticing to go in the direction of conceit because of that, but I tend to draw back from that.

with metta


I actually you have more fun when you do not drink.
It last longer too. No headache. You have spare money to spend on something useful.
You can see the real world without the beer glass.

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What is the lyrics of your song?
By the way, it is better than trying to teach Dhamma to some people.


Keep Buddha as your teacher.

This is the time to test your Viriya (effort) and Bala (girls power):wink::grinning:


Warm salutations! I hope the winds are treating you kindly.

So did I. I spent quite some time conducting extensive research on my like of beer. Funnily enough at the end of that period I discovered I found booze quite dull and my interest in it just kinda fell off. I enjoyed all the fun that could be had with booze, and then ultimately recognised its satisfactions were very limited and that it didn’t contribute anything of value to the exploration of what I did take as substantive and meaningful. 'Parently, things change… who woulda thunk it?! It was a very natural process that I didn’t, and don’t believe could have forced.

Just speaking from my own experience, I find the application of the word ‘strict’ so counter-intuitive. In contrast to ‘strict’, I might describe my undertaking as a very relaxed total abstention. As far as I see it, that’s the point of the precepts: to support the development of ease.