Buddhist Precepts

The Buddhist Precepts

The Precepts are the abiding foundation of Serene Reflection Meditation – for both the newest and the most-experienced trainee, the Precepts continue to guide one’s efforts and guard against self-deception.

The Three Refuges

I take refuge in the Buddha
(the Source of the teaching).

I take refuge in the Dharma
(the Buddha’s teaching).

I take refuge in the Sangha
(those who practice the teaching).

The Three Pure Precepts

1. Cease from evil. By refraining from that which causes confusion and suffering, the Truth will shine of itself.

2. Do only good. Doing good arises naturally from ceasing from evil.

3. Do good for others. To train in Buddhism is to devote one’s life to the good of all living things.

The Ten Great Precepts

1. I will not kill.

2. I will not steal.

3. I will not covet.

4. I will not say that which is not true.

5. I will not sell the wine of delusion. (Whether drink, drugs or the emotional appeal of delusive thinking.)

6. I will not speak against others.

7. I will not be proud of myself and devalue others.

8. I will not be miserly in giving either Dharma (teaching) or wealth.

9. I will not be angry.

10. I will not defame the Three Treasures. (I will not deny the Buddha within myself or in others.)

We take refuge in the Buddha by trusting the wisdom born of the compassionate heart, and we also develop the humility to check our understanding with the Buddha’s teaching (the Scriptures) and with the Sangha (the living community of those who follow the Buddha’s Way). We are all human and even the greatest teacher can make a mistake; however, when the Precepts are taken seriously, they provide necessary safeguards and guidance.