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Vihara => Open Vihara - [Offenes Vihara] => Topic started by: Johann on June 23, 2017, 02:30:38 PM

Title: [Q&A] Is changing your mind same as lying? Breaking promises
Post by: Johann on June 23, 2017, 02:30:38 PM
Is changing your mind same as lying? Breaking promises

Quote from: asked by Digity ( on DW
Suppose someone asks you to do something that you're on the fence about doing, but you agree to it anyway. Now suppose time passes and you regret the initial agreement and decide not to follow through on it, but give some sort of explanation for why you aren't. Do you consider that a form of lying, since you told the person something that you didn't follow through on?

In short:

Yes, breaking promis is unskilfull and a misconduct in regard of virtue.

If done deliberatly it's a classic ly, what ever reson it was.
If changing one mind later, it's false dealing similar to break a contract.

If a promise can not be fullfilled, out of reasons they are not in the sphere of the promis-maker and the promis-maker did also not possible had a chance to foresee this, than it is not a fault.

When one looks carefully and honest, one might see that most of the promises he/she did and did not fullfill have been faults.

A very serious matter is the matter of vows. Think how many take precepts, knowing that they will break them. Doing such is breaking the precepts while asking after them.

Changing ones mind from unskillful to skillful is not wrong, nevertheless one will face consequences of the breaking of promises, since mostly not understandable for others.

That preasure is mostly the hindrence for changing ones mind to a better.

Lets see, maybe my person is able to record a short talk on it.

[Edit: accidental edit by Moritz, reverted]
Title: Antw:[Q&A] Is changing your mind same as lying? Breaking promises
Post by: Johann on June 23, 2017, 03:29:02 PM
It has become 45min of talk and the matter is really a big one, but can solved with simply being honest and good estimation of ones own capacity and capability. So my person thinks its good to talk and ask much in this matter for may cases to be helped to staighten views and ways.

Here in written words again. When changing the mind to skillful things and therefore not able to keep a promis, it is not unskilful when leaving a contract. Nevertheless one will need to bear the fruits of having made unskillful promises before and will mostly be confronted with consequences and claims for repay or fullfilling the contract.

My person wrote on the topic before here and maybe one might find there also useful warnings and ideas for ones own better way.

Erfog/Misserfolg im Geschäft-Success/fail in trade-ជោគជ័យ/បរាជ័យក្នុងការជួញដូរ (,7899.0.html)

Depts, but to whom? (,7854.msg11301.html#msg11301)

Could not find the one in regard of the possible effects on not keeping promises for a ascetic, if having been the receiver of a promise. Some might be in German.

Title: Antw:[Q&A] Is changing your mind same as lying? Breaking promises
Post by: Johann on June 24, 2017, 02:48:28 AM
Maybe Nyom maranadhammomhi likes to share it on DW in the OP as well. Changing ones mind into a good direction is rare but in the other direction where often, so also the many faults and problems with it.

If we for example say: "No, no, I will go in this direction." Inform people likely, and later chance or mind, than it's a "problem", if from world to nibbana, one that does not matter.

Or what do others think here?
Title: Antw:[Q&A] Is changing your mind same as lying? Breaking promises
Post by: Moritz on July 06, 2017, 11:30:32 PM

Namasakara Bhante,
and whoever is interested,

_/\_ _/\_ _/\_

I had started transcribing this talk some time ago, wanting to reply to it. But then I had not enough time. Here are the parts I transcribed:

Quote from: Samana Johann per Audio (;topic=8136.0;attach=3575)
Valued Upasaka, Upasika,
dear listeners,

Atma, my person tries to answer these questions. Pardon my bad English skills and my person's less appealing talking, especially in recording by not seeing another's face.

Question in regard of breaking promises.
The question in regard of changing one's mind.

In regard of breaking precepts and doing unskillful things is actually a very important matter, especially in Western Buddhists. Why? Because there is much of teaching people in equanimity and try to keep them happy instead of to charge rightly and to be honest. So this tendency more into the direction of "let them feel good" rather than to encourage and nourish signs of higher vijja, and it is often very sad to see when people are actually seeing some problems, and at the moment they think about their actions, others come and say: Oh, it's no problem. Don't think so. And in this way they cut off a matter that is very important, to be honest, simply honest, and to take the precepts very serious.
Is it a break of the precepts if one does not keep to one's promise?
My person thinks it's clear if you have a thought that you will not keep the promise and you tell the promise you deliberately cheat people, and such is a really nasty lie. There are maybe lighter occasions where we often lie in such a way [ ... ?] There are situations where one uses lying and promising to things to be light (?). In a way we make, one makes promises to gain honour, or to win a favour. Either from the receiver of that promise, or people watching that act. You see such every day in politics, if you're someone who watches news and is still interested in such things.
So, to make a promise means to make a contract. When you give a promise you make a contract. That's it. Because other people rely on your promise. And relying on your promise, if you break it, the other part loses. He can lose a little, or he can lose very much. He can even lose his life, sticking to your promise. So breaking a promise is not a light thing. Really not a light thing. When you change your mind later your really have to be careful what you are doing. It's like if you have a contract with a company, for example you take on a car by leasing. (If the right word is leasing in English?) You take the car first, you use it, and you pay later. Is it possible that you say: "Oh, I don't like it. I'd like to have another one." Or whatever? So as soon as you have a contract, you have to stick to the contract. And if you really like to leave the contract, you have to tell it, and search for ways how to solve it.

Quote from: Samana Johann per Audio (;topic=8136.0;attach=3575)

When looking exact, you will not find easy excuses that you cannot fulfill a certain promise.

Quote from: Samana Johann per Audio (;topic=8136.0;attach=3575)

Know that this is a very ... for the most... That is actually one reason most monks would not really get verbal[ly] in contact with you. So when you offer something, that you will make something, or do something, good monks would not verbal[ly] agree with it. They just would stay silent. Why? - so that you have most possibilities that you don't come into the problem of promise. It's a matter of deep impact.

So, of course there are reasons not to keep a promise. It is like with a contract. There are reasons to quit the contract, to step out of the contract. And similar it is with the promise you made. But it's not possible in a way of just: "Oh, a change of my mind." If such is happening, actually it happens often, it is very needed to tell it. To say: "I will not come", and to ask for forgiveness.

Nevertheless the karma of the act is still there. But you and also the other will feel better if knowing what's the fact. So others will not continue to build on it. For breaking a promise can cause very much damage. So it's good not to take it very light and easy. And it's good to make not much promises. And if, keep to it. You will not only be honoured in this life, but also in the next existence. There is just one situation where you are nearly in the right to break a worldly promise you had made. That is the time when you start to walk the path. Especially when you go into the homeless life. To give up everything, to change the mind really, in a helpful way for everyone, is a reason that you may not stick to your promises.

There might be many people that are not happy with you.

Thank you for this careful treatment of this subject, and especially the remarks on and explanation of reasons behind good monastic behaviour in regard of it.

As I already alluded to earlier in another topic (,7997.msg12221.html#msg12221): "We have a problem with promises ("

Maybe I will find some words for talking about my own problems with the topic, here or in some other thread. But for now, I do not promise.

/me : made changes for "specified language view".

Namasakara Bhante,
und wer immer interessiert sein mag,

_/\_ _/\_ _/\_

Ich hatte vor einiger Zeit angefangen, diese Aufnahme niederzuschreiben, mit der Absicht darauf zu antworten, aber hatte dann nicht genug Zeit. Hier sind die Teile, die ich niedergeschrieben hatte:

Quote from: Samana Johann per Audio (;topic=8136.0;attach=3575)
Werte Upasaka, Upasika,
liebe Zuhörer,

Atma, meine Person, versucht, diese Fragen zu beantworten. Verzeihen Sie mein schlechtes Englisch und meiner Person weniger ansprechende Redenweise, besonders beim Aufnehmen ohne das Gesicht des Gegenübers zu sehen.

Namo tassa baghavato arahatto sammasambuddhassa
Namo tassa baghavato arahatto sammasambuddhassa
Namo tassa baghavato arahatto sammasambuddhassa

Frage im Bezug auf das Brechen von Versprechen
Die Frage in Bezug auf "es sich anders überlegen"

Quote from: Samana Johann per Audio (;topic=8136.0;attach=3575)

Wenn Sie genau hinsehen, werden Sie keine einfachen Entschuldigungen dafür finden, dass Sie ein gewisses Versprechen nicht einhalten können.

Quote from: Samana Johann per Audio (;topic=8136.0;attach=3575)

Seien Sie sich bewusst, dass dies ein sehr ... für die meisten... dass dies in der Tat einer der Gründe dafür ist, dass die meisten Mönche nicht verbal mit Ihnen in Kontakt treten würden. Also wenn Sie etwas anbieten, dass Sie etwas machen werden, oder tun werden, dann würden gute Mönche dem nicht verbal zustimmen. Sie würden bloß schweigen. Warum? - damit Sie die meisten Möglichkeiten haben, dass Sie nicht in das Problem eines Versprechens geraten. Es ist eine Angelegenheit mit tiefgreifenden Auswirkungen.

Also natürlich gibt es Gründe, ein Versprechen nicht einzuhalten. Es ist wie ein Vertrag. Es gibt Gründe, einen Vertrag zu kündigen, aus dem Vertrag auszutreten. Und ähnlich ist es mit dem Versprechen, das Sie gemacht haben. Aber es ist nicht möglich in einer Weise wie bloß: "Oh, eine Änderung des Geistes." Wenn so etwas passiert, tatsächlich passiert das sehr oft, ist es sehr nötig, es zu sagen. Zu sagen: "Ich werde nicht kommen", und um Vergebung zu bitten.

Nichtsdestotrotz, ist das Karma des Handlung immer noch da. Aber Sie, und auch der andere, werden sich besser fühlen, wissend, was Sache ist. ...

Danke für die sorgsame Abhandlung des Themas, und besonders die Bemerkeungen über und Erklärungen der Gründe hinter gutem monastischem Verhalten in diesem Bezug.

Wie ich schon hier (,7997.msg12221.html#msg12221) vorher woanders angedeutet hatte: "We have a problem with promises ("

Vielleicht werde ich ein paar Worte finden, um meine eigenen Probleme mit diesem Thema etwas auszuführen, hier oder in einem anderen Thread. Aber zunächst will ich nichts versprechen.


/me : Änderungen für "Spezifische Sprachansicht" gemacht.
Title: Antw:[Q&A] Is changing your mind same as lying? Breaking promises
Post by: Johann on July 07, 2017, 11:19:21 AM

Nyom Moritz , im Grunde hängt dieses wechseln von Entschlüssen, abbrechen von Versprächen mit rechtem, oder falschem Entschluß zusammen. Es ist der zweite Teil der Anweisung an Rahula: "Wenn während des Tuns, beobachtet wird, daß entweder Leiden für einen selbst, oder für andere, aufkommt: Stop."

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

"Während Ihr eine körperliche [gleich für, geistig und verbal] Tat vollzieht, solltet Ihr diese gegenbetrachten: 'Diese körperliche Tat, die ich vollziehe - führt sie zu Selbst-Leid, zum Leid für andere oder zu beidem? Ist sie eine ungeschickte körperliche Tat, mit schmerzvollen Nachwirkungen, schmerzvollen Ergebnissen?' Wenn Ihr mit dem Gegenbetrachten wißt, daß sie zu Selbst-Leid, zu Leid für andere oder zu beidem führt... solltet Ihr sie aufgeben. Aber wenn Ihr mit dem Gegenbetrachten wißt, daß diese nicht... mögt [gibt es keinen Grund für ein legitimes Brechen eines Versprechens] Ihr damit fortsetzten.
Quote from:

In solch einem Fall (Druchführen breche Silas), wenn da nicht Trübungen oder Ausreden ins Spiel gekommen sind, dann ist ein Abbrechen eines Versprechens recht und gut.

Das gilt auch für Geistiges. Denken wir an "Liebesschwur", um einen harten Fall zu nehmen, oder Religionsbekenntnis, oder was immer.

Wie gesagt, kann man dennoch in Verbindlichkeiten stecken und "muß" ggf. "Strafe" für's nichteinhalten, wenn für den anderen die Gründe nicht nachvollziehbar, zahlen, die Konsequenzen tragen. In der Regel fällt solches vollzogen, dann aber nicht mehr schwer, und man findet auch keinen wahren Grund der Reue für eine Handlung aus rechter Entschlossenheit:

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

"Und was ist rechte Entschlossenheit? Entschlossen in Entsagung zu sein, in Freiheit von Feindschaft, in Nichtverletzen: Dies, Bhikkhus, wird rechte Entschlossenheit genannt.

— SN 45.8
Quote from:

Mag dies Kreise Schließen, und was die Lösung für alle Versprechen ist, gibts nur eine: Nibbana, alle Arbeit getan, jeder Pflicht enthoben.

Jedes Handeln ist dann einfach: So