What would it be like to try to live the precepts as a modern, independent lay person?
If you are an ordained monk or nun, the answer is simple. Practice as your teacher or abbot instructs. Independents have no choice but to reason over if and how to follow precepts.
It isn’t 600AD anymore, times have changed. Precepts that may have been good advice then might be downright silly or unhelpful today. The rest are wisdom and the path to liberation. Which precepts are which?
Lay Practice (Being an Upasaka)
Full time practice isn’t available to everyone– at many points in Buddhist history Buddhists have believed that liberation can be achieved while continuing to handle money, farm, do business, and take care of family. The famous Brahma Net Sutra hints at this and the lesser known Upasaka Precepts Sutra makes this explicit.
There are many forumulations– BNS, Upaska, the various paths to liberation (the 10 of this and 40 of that)– some are vague, some are rather specific, some require some interpretation do make them into valuable practices. So the project is not only to try to follow the precepts but to develop the precepts.