If you have any questions pertaining to the Buddhist Five Precepts, please email them to [email protected] Venerable Faxun will be answering your questions periodically, and answers will be posted on this page.
1st Precept: Abstain from killing
- What is the Buddhist perspective on suicide?
- To keep the precept of not killing, must we be vegetarian?
- Are we not contributing to killing by eating meat? Isn’t the meat in restaurants and supermarkets killed for our consumption?
- What did the Buddha say about vegetarianism?
- Is abortion a form of killing? Isn’t it better to end a pregnancy if the couple is not ready?
- What if a woman is raped?
- How should I deal with an infestation of ants or cockroaches?
- Some detractors say, “You Buddhists are too concerned about ants and bugs.”
- What if we are practicing non-violence and someone breaks into our house and threatens us? What should we do?
2nd Precept: Abstain from stealing
3rd Precept: Abstain from sexual misconduct
- Is this precept (sexual misconduct) still relevant in contemporary society? How should we understand the precept of sexual misconduct? What if one chooses sex outside of marriage?
- Most of my friends are sexually active. If I don’t act like them, they will think I am odd.
- Many of my friends, including myself, have two or three sexual partners. How do you suggest I can keep the Third Precept?
4th Precept: Abstain from untruthful speech
- In order to sell my product or to close a business deal, keeping the precept of not lying is not realistic to me.
- I want to attend Dharma events but my parents don’t want me to go. I don’t want to lie to them but I want to attend them because the Dharma is the real source of happiness. What should I do?
- What is the Buddhist view on new instant messaging?
- Is it okay to tell little white lies?
5th Precept: Abstain from consuming intoxicating drinks and drugs
- Can I take the Fifth Mindfulness Training (the Fifth Precept), and still drink an occasional glass of wine or beer with dinner?
- In my work, I take clients out to eat often and at these times, everyone drinks. Taking the precept not to drink is not practical for me. Also, my family has a drink with dinner and my friends drink at parties. If I do not join them in drinking, they will think I am strange, that I am being unnecessarily prudish, or that I am pretending to be morally superior. They may even think poorly of Buddhism if I do not join in what “normal” people do.
The taking of precepts