Spiritual Tuesdays: Buddhist Ethics

A lay Buddhist should train in what is known as the “Five Precepts“. The five precepts are training rules, which, if one were to break any of them, one should be aware of the breach and look at how such a breach may be avoided in the future.

Buddhism places a great emphasis on the ‘mind‘ and its mental anguish such as remorse, anxiety, guilt etc. which is to be avoided to cultivate a calm and peaceful mind. The five precepts are:

  1. Avoid taking the life of beings: This applies to all living things not just humans. All beings have a right to their life and that right should be respected.
  2. Avoid taking things not given: This goes beyond stealing. One should avoid taking anything unless one is sure it is intended for them.
  3. Refrain from false speech:Avoid lies and deceit. Avoid speech which is not beneficial to the welfare of others.
  4. Avoid sensual misconduct: This means avoid overindulgence in any sensual pleasures e.g. gluttony as well as misconduct of a sexual nature.
  5. Avoid substances which cause intoxication or heedlessness:This does not mean alcohol is bad, but indulgence in such a substance could lead to the breaking of the other four precepts.

The information above was extracted from Buddhanet.net.

Buddhism is a way of life. The precepts above is tantamount to the ten commandments in Christianity.

Thanks for reading … Namaste!

Image via zazenlife.com

10 thoughts on “Spiritual Tuesdays: Buddhist Ethics

    • Harry, I was thinking the EXACT same thing as I read it last night. In fact, I think my wife would be a better Buddhist than me πŸ˜† …oops. I just killed a mosquito! 😦

    • LOL … that’s implied I guess. And it does sound serious. It gives the impression that monks or Buddhists don’t have fun huh? πŸ™‚

      • It sounds serious, but “serious” and “fun” are no opposites. What fun is there in harming other people, either by acts or by ill-spoken words? But words spoken to cheer someone up, or to tell a joke, are not at all against these Precepts.
        The Thai people have a word for it: “sanuk”. All they do should be “sanuk” which you can translate as “fun”. It can represent many things : eat together, to be with friends and chat, to go out with friends. Even when doing business, Thai people often ask “was it fun?” before “was it successful?”.

  1. Interesting link between the Five Precepts and the Ten Commandments. But did you notice that that the First Precept is not “You Shall Worship the Lord Your God and Him Only Shall You Serve”? For sure such first commandment has been (and still is) the root cause of too much evil. For Christians the sanctity of life comes only in at the fifth place.

    • Aha! Most Christians believe that their religion and “their” God is the only one and supreme. I believe that if a man wants to worship a fly in the hopes of becoming a better human being, then that’s his prerogative. As human beings, we’re too judgmental towards others that don’t share our views and beliefs. There are 7billion people on this planet, why would we all want to worship the same person or practice the same principles.

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