My Eighth Training Precept

Buddhists take training precepts because they are supposed to transform oneself into a better living being.

I tried to take the eight precepts after taking my first five, and I find that not applying perfume and sleeping on high beds don't really apply to me, and not eating after lunch also seems like an awkward practice for me.

I hence happened to go to Tzu Chi, and I discover that their bodhisattva precepts are customised, i.e. they have the sixth precept which is not to join politics, and their eighth precept is to not violate traffic rules. It seemed funny for me initially, but as I age I realised that hey, since I am in Singapore where the Constitutional laws are really well defined (in contrast with Taiwan where laws are comparatively weaker), I might as well take up a precept that forbids me from breaking Singapore laws.

I quit Tzu Chi thereafter, and I took up an eighth precept that says I shall refrain from violating Singapore laws. While this still differs somewhat from "not doing any evil", the irony of it all is that evil is also defined differently in each country. Here in Singapore for instance, cannabis is evil. You can go to Thailand but over there even though it is a Buddhist country, cannabis is legal. If you were to go Thailand, consume some cannabis, and return to Singapore, it is considered as breaking the law, wor!!!!! So, from the way how laws can be ridiculously defined over geopolitical boundaries, I took up my customed precept, "I shall refrain from violating Singapore laws". This also means that I was born as a Singaporean citizen and I intend to die as one, so I don't consider migration or escaping from Singapore at all.


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