We have learned about the five precepts, their meanings and their scope during this semester. I feel that the five concisive precepts broadly contain the proper attitudes and standards which we should have in our daily dealing with people and society.
However, no killing, no stealing, no lasciviousness, no lying, and no intoxicant, these five precepts are easier said than done. They are very easy to break and hard to uphold. Particularly hard to uphold are the two precepts of no stealing and no lying. It's hard for people not to be selfishness. Even if one doesn't intend to harm others, still, it is hard to avoid not gaining some self-benefits. When one is conducting business, one may unwittingly pass benefits and convenience on to oneself. It is also not easy to always be mindful of what you are doing. Thus it becomes difficult to uphold these two precepts.
Regarding the precept of no lying, it is not really hard to tell the truth, but it isn't so easy to withdraw from unnecessary conversation and refrain from bad- mouthing. Everyday when we open and close our mouths, we often create a lot of unnecessary conversations and jokes. It is really hard to control and avoid slandering people when one is in a bad mood or angry. The words can slip out before we know it. Therefore, it is very important to control our minds and mouths.
Many people, after receiving the precepts, become very hesitant and overly cautious about their behavior. It shouldn't be like that. The five precepts represent a way rather than restraints. They are a good means to help us to control ourselves, identify right from wrong, develop good habits, and form positive attitudes. The five precepts set a clear direction for us. They help us refrain from conduct that can damage our character and help us act as upright people.
If one only pays lip service to the five precepts, they will always be rigid rules and will have no effect on us. In order to make them beneficial, one has to earnestly practice the five precepts. When one upholds the precepts to the ultimate point, then, without even thinking about it, ones every act will be in accordance with the precepts. without exception. At that point, one has truly reached the unity of knowledge and action.