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20111116

UPOSATHA DAYS



The Uposatha is a time to intensify one's own meditation and Dharma practice, for instance, meditating an extra session or for a longer time, reading or chanting special Buddhist texts, recollecting or giving in some special way.

One can observe Uposatha on the days of half-moon, new moon, and full moon of each lunar month.  Traditionally, the Uposatha days are observed ten times a month, on the 1st, 8th, 14th, 15th, 18th, 23rd, 24th and final three days of each lunar month. 

On each Uposatha Day, devout Upāsaka and Upāsikā (those who have taken lay-precepts) practice the Eight Precepts, perhaps echoing the Buddha's teaching that laypeople should "imitate" arhats on Uposatha days.

For lay practitioners, the Uposatha is a time to intensify one's meditation and Dharma practice.  For example, meditating for an extra session or a longer time, reading or chanting special sutras, eating only vegetarian, and practicing Dana.

The Eight Precepts are for upāsakas and upāsikās who wish to practice Buddhism more strictly than through adherence to the five precepts. The eight precepts focus both on avoiding morally bad behaviour, as do the five precepts, and on leading a more ascetic life.
The Buddha gave teachings on how the eight precepts are to be practiced, and on the right and wrong ways of practicing the eight precepts.
  1. I undertake to abstain from causing harm and taking life (both human and non-human), and to abstain from eating meat.
  2. I undertake to abstain from taking what is not given (for example stealing, displacements that may cause misunderstandings).
  3. I undertake to abstain from sexual activity.
  4. I undertake to abstain from wrong speech: telling lies, deceiving others, manipulating others, using hurtful words.
  5. I undertake to abstain from using intoxicating drinks and drugs, which lead to carelessness.
  6. I undertake to abstain from eating at the wrong time (the right time is after sunrise, before noon).
  7. I undertake to abstain from singing, dancing, playing music, attending entertainment performances, wearing perfume, and using cosmetics and garlands (decorative accessories).
  8. I undertake to abstain from luxurious places for sitting or sleeping, and overindulging in sleep.