How do we behave?
In order to live we must act and our actions can either be harmful or helpful. One of the core teachings of Buddhism is that we always have a choice in how we act and that there are always consequences to our actions. Buddhists are always trying to choose actions which are helpful rather than harmful.
Buddhism gives us help in making those choices in the form of 5 precepts. These are principles rather than laws of behaviour - a recognition that it is very rare for a particular choice of action to be always right or always wrong - there are so many factors to consider that every time you choose how to act the answer could be different. The key is that we are constantly questioning our actions in terms of the 5 precepts to ensure that we are trying the best we can to help rather than harm.
We don't always get it right and that is OK, we can learn from our mistakes.
The 5 Precepts for Adults
With deeds of loving kindness, I purify my body.
With open-handed generosity, I purify my body.
With stillness, simplicity and contentment, I purify my body.
With truthful communication, I purify my speech.
With mindfulness clear and radiant, I purify my mind.
The 5 Precepts for Children
I enjoy kindness and friendliness.
I enjoy us helping each other.
I enjoy feeling safe and being heard.
I enjoy kind and honest words.
I enjoy quiet times when my mind is settled.
|T||is it true?|
|h||is it helpful?|
|i||is it inspiring?|
|n||is it necessary?|
|k||is it kind?|
Do not obstruct the energy of any other person.
Do not drain the energy of others.
Give freely of your own energy.
Do not misuse energy.
Use for any given purpose the energy appropriate to that purpose, not one which is inappropriate.
Do not allow energy to become turbid. Keep it clear and bright.