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Jack Kornfield and the Precepts

BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe DiemSamsara Veteran

We have often quoted Thich Nhat Hanh's Five Mindfulness Trainings, but this time, I would like to share some simple exercises that Jack Kornfield suggests to put the precepts into practice.
This text can be found in Thay's wonderful book "For a Future to be Possible:"

"I would like to ofer some exercises that can help us use the Five Precepts to cultivate and strengthen mindfulness. It is best to choose one of these exercises and work with it meticulously for a week. Then examine the results and choose another for a subsequent week. These practices can help us understand and find ways to work with each precept.

  1. Refrain 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Refraining from sexual misconduct: conscious sexuality. Undertake for one week to observe meticulously how often sexual feelings 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, agression, and so forth.

  4. 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).

  5. Refraining from intoxicants to the point of heedlessness. 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.”

Much metta to everyone



  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    personaly,i limit the five precept in relation to people through empathetic experience.the first precept,respect life.i know i bleed,i know it i try not to hurt other people.then i go from there to other creatures seeing them feel sad,happy and so forth.the second,refrain from stealing.this is connected to livelyhood.i know it's hard to earn a buck,and i know i earn my keep.knowing this financially,i refrain stealing my neighbors material stuff.i worked hard for my stuff and i bet they did too.third,respect my neighbors girlfriend or wife.i wouldn't like it.i wouldn't want to cause drama in their i dont flirt but be just nice.forth,i dont drink beer.dont like the taste and being drunk impares judgement.i do smoke cigarette.i own that karma .just sharing how i handle the i perfect at it?nope!but the attitude do your best has helpd me.knowing our best gets better.

  • Going to do this, thank you @DhammaDragon !

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    oh,the precept,refrain from lieing.i practice self honesty.getting better.

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    We all have a precept that is more difficult to work with, yet they are good guidelines to live by and look up to.

  • O.o Think I have misunderstood the precepts again ... :dizzy:

    • Always Kill demons! They are not sentient. Don't exist outside of our minds and they expect to be vanquished anyways ... (Manjushri loaned me his sword)

    • Always steal misery, others bad moods and mad/bad attitude. Try and sneak off with it before they notice they did not really want it anyway ...

    • Lust after spiritual development, nirvana and Pureland cruises.

    • Never speak The Truth to those who require comfort, consoling and New Age Dharma platitudes.

    • Get out of your skull on Dharma. Don't sober up till all washed up on the far shore ...

    ... and now back to the True Word ... o:)

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