Suramerayamajja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.
Starting from me, I abandon intoxication
May the world also end heedlessness. May there be awareness.
Ok, I like booze since I was sixteen. But if you want to get wisdom and Enlightenment, a sharp focused mind is required. A mind that is all blurry and dazed simply will not get the work done.
So the final precepts for a layman, is to refrain from intoxication.
Buddhist is about gaining mastery on oneself, take control, be in the driver seat. To do that, of course you have to be wide awake and mindful. To intoxicate the mind would mean letting go of this control and let your primal instincts take over the wheel. So it’s like letting greed, desire, hatred, ignorance , so on and so forth takes over.
Again, like all other precepts, its all about how far you wish to take it. Practising Buddhism is a personal journey. You don’t go around judging others based on how strict they are with their observance. Neither do you have to chastise yourself and be burdened with guilt if you find that you cannot meet your own standards. Just like a new year resolution, you just have to sincerely try harder when you don’t meet your own target.
Personally, I prefer to keep it simple. That means no intoxicating, drinks or drugs! No “off day”, no “Just one glass” exception. Easier to manage myself.
I also found that the effect of intoxicant hinder meditation for me. I guess it’s a bane for mindfulness. So there’s no such a thing as developing mindfulness by mindfully drinking a glass of wine.