Thursday, June 05, 2008

Buddhist Five Precepts

Perhaps as a Christian I should not be discussing Buddhist values. I'm not certain where the lines lie. But my conversations with a friend led to the following five Buddhist precepts, and I found them profound and valuable:

1. Do not kill. Sure, this one's easy.
2. Do not steal. "In its broadest sense, observing the second precept also means that one cultivates the virtue of generosity."
3. Do not indulge in sexual misconduct. Not sending anyone on a guilt trip, just everything in moderation, and have respect for yourself.
4. Do not make false speech. Respect the truth.
5. Do not take intoxicants. Cultivate your body, as well as your mind.

A motivational speaker - whose name escapes me - who focuses on the topic of morality once said he always asked his audience why they'd do the right thing. "Because it makes us feel good," they'd say. His response? "You should do the right thing NOT because it makes you feel good. You should do it simply because it's the right thing to do." Food for thought?
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Mary said...

Hi Kristen -- I think that Christian values have their root in the axial age during the time of Budha (and other religions that sprung up during that time). You might be interested to read Karen Armstrong's "The Great Transformation". Nice to see you posting. Mary
PS--You look really happy!!

Anonymous said...

I think it is naive to live up to a rigid set of moral codes, beyond basic logic of overall goodness. I think in life, we have to sometimes bend the rules to survive. Indeed we do it indirectly without realizing it, by our participation in this society.

Anonymous said...

My daddy the atheist taught me from an early age that doing the right thing JUST because it's right, is the ultimate highest level of emotional maturity. Doint the right thing because you might get caught doing the wrong thing? That's the lowest level of maturity. I forget everything that's in between, but I strive to not only do the right thing, but to do it just because it's right and not congratulate myself or wonder how it will benefit me, etc.

You're so interesting, Kristen!