Learning from the Precepts

Pick and refine one or more of the five basic training precepts as a way to cultivate and strengthen mindfulness. Work with a precept meticulously for one week. Then examine the results  and  choose  another  precept  for  a  subsequent  week. Here are some sample suggested ways to work with each precept.

  1. Refraining from killing: reverence for life. Undertake for one week to purposefully bring no harm in thought, word, or deed to any living creature. Particularly become aware of any living beings  in  your  world  (people,  animals,  even plants) whom you ignore, and cultivate a sense of care and reverence for them too.
  1. Refraining from stealing: care with material goods. Undertake for one week to act on every single thought of generosity that arises spontaneously in your heart.
  1. Refraining from false speech: speech from the heart. Undertake for one week not to gossip (positively or negatively) or speak about anyone you know who is not present with you (any third party).
  1. Refraining from sexual misconduct: conscious sexuality. Undertake for one week to observe meticulously how often sexual feelings and thoughts arise in your consciousness. Each time, note what particular mind states you find associated with them, such  as  love,  tension,  compulsion, caring, loneliness, desire for communication, greed, pleasure, aggression, and so forth.
  1. Refraining from the heedless use of intoxicants. Undertake for one week or  one  month  to  refrain  from  all  intoxicants and  addictive  substances  (such  as  wine,  marijuana,  even cigarettes  and/or  caffeine  if  you  wish).  Observe  the  impulses to use these, and become aware of what is going on in the heart and mind at the time of those impulses

This excerpt is taken from the book, “Seeking the Heart of Wisdom” 

Find Peace


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