Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to wear white?
No. It is beneficial to wear white, but not essential. Some people wear a white shirt and any color pants. Traditionally, people often wear a white piece of cloth over their left shoulder and pinned together at the waste under the right arm.
What can be eaten in the evening?
Fruit juice, water, sugar, honey, rock candy. Tea and coffee can be taken without milk.
What should I sleep on?
Try and sleep on the simplest bed possible, using the most basic bedding you have. It is good if you can put the mattress on the floor.
How do I take the precepts on my own?
Most people will first recite the Three Refuges and then simply recite the eight precepts out loud.
How do I stop observing the 8 precepts?
Simply take the five precepts on your own.
Can I observe the 8 precepts on any day?
Absolutely. Traditionally, people will observe them on full and new moon days. But the Buddha encouraged people to observe them as often as possible.
What if I forget and eat something in the afternoon?
This is very easy to do if we are observing the precepts at home or anywhere outside a group setting. Don’t worry. Simply mentally determine to take the precept again. You may find that wearing white helps you remember. You may even like to put up a sign on the fridge.
Do I have to stay home and meditate all day while observing the Eight Precepts?
No. It is traditional, and of course very beneficial, to devote the day to Dhamma practice. But it is still beneficial to keep the precepts on a day when we may not be able to dedicate ourselves entirely to spiritual practice.