The Five Precepts

The Five Precepts constitute the basic Buddhist code of ethics.

 

1. I take as a training precept to refrain from taking life.
2. I take as a training precept to refrain from taking that which is not freely given.
3. I take as a training precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.
4. I take as a training precept to refrain from unwise/unskillful speech.
5. I take as a training precept to refrain from intoxication that clouds the mind.

Some people find that they are more comfortable stating the precepts positively because they find it more inspiring.  Likewise, some people have crafted their own expanded or elaborated positive version because it adds momentum to their mindfulness in daily life.

The following is a sample of positively stated and elaborated version of the Precepts.  Feel free to use these or make your own.

The Five Precepts Stated Positively


1.  To the best of my ability, I will protect and support life and encourage the fulfillment of potential for love and understanding in others.

2. To the best of my ability, I will take only what is freely given and vow to practice gratitude and generosity.

3. To the best of my ability, I will respect and support on-going relationships, honor my commitments, and practice discernment between the beauty of Eros as a feeling and the compulsiveness to act it out.

4. To the best of my ability, I will say what is true, useful, and timely and practice deep listening such that both my speaking and listening reflects loving-kindness and compassion.

5. To the best of my ability, I will maintain a clear and alert mind that is aware of its motivations, moment to moment, such that it can discern between what is the cause of suffering and what is not the cause of suffering.