Sakyamuni Buddha said “Sila as Guru”, but the precepts were set more than two thousand years ago in India. Are they still relevant today? Supreme Master Ching Hai pointed out that Sila Observance alone won’t get us Buddha-hood. It’s to understand the precepts that is important. Any precept is set for a particular situation at a certain time and space. If we do not violate any rules, or hinder anybody, we don’t have to cling to precepts. Therefore to talk about “Sila as Guru” all the time is too attached to the precepts. Many precepts are not applicable today. We should check and see, and apply only those that are suitable and discard those that are not.
Precepts are useful, but it depends on situation. The purpose of spiritual practice is to set an example, not to create a stormy and complicated life to bring discomfort to ourselves and sadness to others. This IS Sila. Sila is not clinging to some precepts and feeling self-important. Most practitioners are bound by outside form and words, and then think themselves really something. As a result, they get stuck there.