Monday, March 24, 2008

Working with the five precepts

A while ago, while reading Goldstein & Kornfield's Seeking The Heart Of Wisdom, I attempted to work through their exercises on the five Buddhist precepts. This was quite an interesting and difficult challenge. I would recommend it to anyone interested in developing a stronger ethical base, not just practicing Buddhists.

Of course, if you do practice Buddhism, this is a great way deepen your practice as well, as it encourages you to engage in daily mindfulness. I am going to use this post as a sort of diary of my notes and reactions as I work with each of the precepts. This is mainly for my own good, but I hope that the results are interesting to those who might be reading as well. If others are interested in working on these exercises at the same time as me, let me know, because it can be very helpful to have someone to share your experiences with.

Keep an eye on the comments section if you'd like to track my practice, or follow along on your own.

3 comments:

Gregory Brown said...

"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."

When I worked on this precept the first time around, I became vegetarian after 'trying it' for a week. That's not the entire reason why I've stuck with my vegetarianism, but it was the initial catalyst.

We'll see how it goes this time around. I stopped killing bugs for a while last time, maybe many months, but recently started aimlessly swatting moths when they come near me, I'll need to break that habit.

I think I'll start working on this precept by watering my bamboo, it's currently pining for the fjords...

Gregory Brown said...

After watering the bamboo, I went on to something a little more challenging. Finally got around to talking to a friend about an issue I've been walking on eggshells over for months. He was surprisingly compassionate after hearing from me, makes me glad I got things off my chest, even if the fallout remains to be seen...

Gregory Brown said...

Today I sent a facebook message to the one ex-girlfriend I don't really talk to anymore. I can't remember if I did this last year as part of the practice, I may have...

At this point, I'm not even sure why we work so hard at ignoring each other, but perhaps if I gently let her know there is no ill will on my end, it will bring us peace in the future.