Intoxicants: Bending The Rules?

There’s a new article today on CNN about a monk in Japan that mixes hip hop, Buddhist sutras and alcohol in hopes of attracting younger people to the Dharma in Japan. Right off the bat, I do enjoy a beer (Guinness, love my dark beers) with dinner if I happen to go out with my wife, so I’m not playing the hypocrite role here, just making an observation.

Anyway, I’ve always understood that one of the precepts says to abstain from intoxicating substances. While that could be painted with a broad brush, it mainly reflects alcohol consumption. There has been debate about whether or not this means complete and utter absolution, or if we can “bend the rules” a bit.

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