The Five Mindfulness Trainings

The Five Mindfulness Trainings repre­sent the Buddhist visi­on for a glo­bal spi­ri­tua­li­ty and ethic. They are a con­cre­te expres­si­on of the Buddha’s tea­chings on the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, the path of right under­stan­ding and true love, lea­ding to healing, trans­for­ma­ti­on, and hap­pi­ness for our­sel­ves and for the world. To prac­ti­ce the Five Mindfulness Trainings is to cul­ti­va­te the insight of inter­being, or Right View, which can remo­ve all discri­mi­na­ti­on, into­le­ran­ce, anger, fear, and des­pair. If we live accord­ing to the Five Mindfulness Trainings, we are alrea­dy on the path of a bodhi­satt­va. Knowing we are on that path, we are not lost in con­fu­si­on about our life in the pre­sent or in fears about the future.

Reverence For Life

Aware of the suf­fe­ring cau­sed by the dest­ruc­tion of life, I am com­mit­ted to cul­ti­vat­ing the insight of inter­being and com­pas­si­on and lear­ning ways to pro­tect the lives of peop­le, ani­mals, plants, and mine­rals. I am deter­mi­ned not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to sup­port any act of kil­ling in the world, in my thin­king, or in my way of life. Seeing that harm­ful actions ari­se from anger, fear, greed, and into­le­ran­ce, which in turn come from dua­listic and discri­mi­na­ti­ve thin­king, I will cul­ti­va­te open­ness, non-discri­mi­na­ti­on, and non-attach­ment to views in order to trans­form vio­lence, fana­ti­cism, and dog­ma­tism in mys­elf and in the world.

True Happiness

Aware of the suf­fe­ring cau­sed by explo­ita­ti­on, social injus­ti­ce, ste­aling, and opp­res­si­on, I am com­mit­ted to prac­ti­cing gene­ro­si­ty in my thin­king, spea­king, and acting. I am deter­mi­ned not to ste­al and not to pos­sess anything that should belong to others; and I will share my time, ener­gy, and mate­ri­al resour­ces with tho­se who are in need. I will prac­ti­ce loo­king deeply to see that the hap­pi­ness and suf­fe­ring of others are not sepa­ra­te from my own hap­pi­ness and suf­fe­ring; that true hap­pi­ness is not pos­si­ble without under­stan­ding and com­pas­si­on; and that run­ning after wealth, fame, power and sen­su­al plea­su­res can bring much suf­fe­ring and des­pair. I am awa­re that hap­pi­ness depends on my men­tal atti­tu­de and not on exter­nal con­di­ti­ons, and that I can live hap­pi­ly in the pre­sent moment sim­ply by remem­be­ring that I alrea­dy have more than enough con­di­ti­ons to be hap­py. I am com­mit­ted to prac­ti­cing Right Livelihood so that I can help redu­ce the suf­fe­ring of living bein­gs on Earth and stop con­tri­bu­ting to cli­ma­te change.

True Love

Aware of the suf­fe­ring cau­sed by sexu­al mis­con­duct, I am com­mit­ted to cul­ti­vat­ing respon­si­bi­li­ty and lear­ning ways to pro­tect the safe­ty and inte­gri­ty of indi­vi­du­als, cou­ples, fami­lies, and socie­ty. Knowing that sexu­al desi­re is not love, and that sexu­al acti­vi­ty moti­va­ted by cra­ving always harms mys­elf as well as others, I am deter­mi­ned not to enga­ge in sexu­al rela­ti­ons without true love and a deep, long-term com­mit­ment made known to my fami­ly and friends. I will do ever­ything in my power to pro­tect child­ren from sexu­al abu­se and to pre­vent cou­ples and fami­lies from being bro­ken by sexu­al mis­con­duct. Seeing that body and mind are one, I am com­mit­ted to lear­ning appro­pria­te ways to take care of my sexu­al ener­gy and cul­ti­vat­ing loving kind­ness, com­pas­si­on, joy and inclu­si­ve­ness – which are the four basic ele­ments of true love – for my grea­ter hap­pi­ness and the grea­ter hap­pi­ness of others. Practicing true love, we know that we will con­ti­nue beau­ti­ful­ly into the future.

Loving Speech and Deep Listening

Aware of the suf­fe­ring cau­sed by unmind­ful speech and the ina­bi­li­ty to lis­ten to others, I am com­mit­ted to cul­ti­vat­ing loving speech and com­pas­sio­na­te lis­tening in order to relie­ve suf­fe­ring and to pro­mo­te recon­ci­lia­ti­on and peace in mys­elf and among other peop­le, eth­nic and reli­gious groups, and nati­ons. Knowing that words can crea­te hap­pi­ness or suf­fe­ring, I am com­mit­ted to spea­king truth­ful­ly using words that inspi­re con­fi­dence, joy, and hope. When anger is mani­fes­ting in me, I am deter­mi­ned not to speak. I will prac­ti­ce mind­ful breat­hing and wal­king in order to reco­gni­ze and to look deeply into my anger. I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong per­cep­ti­ons and lack of under­stan­ding of the suf­fe­ring in mys­elf and in the other per­son. I will speak and lis­ten in a way that can help mys­elf and the other per­son to trans­form suf­fe­ring and see the way out of dif­fi­cult situa­tions. I am deter­mi­ned not to spread news that I do not know to be cer­tain and not to utter words that can cau­se divi­si­on or dis­cord. I will prac­ti­ce Right Diligence to nou­rish my capa­ci­ty for under­stan­ding, love, joy, and inclu­si­ve­ness, and gra­du­al­ly trans­form anger, vio­lence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness.

Nourishment and Healing

Aware of the suf­fe­ring cau­sed by unmind­ful con­sump­ti­on, I am com­mit­ted to cul­ti­vat­ing good health, both phy­si­cal and men­tal, for mys­elf, my fami­ly, and my socie­ty by prac­ti­cing mind­ful eating, drin­king, and con­suming. I will prac­ti­ce loo­king deeply into how I con­su­me the Four Kinds of Nutriments, name­ly edi­ble foods, sen­se impres­si­ons, voli­ti­on, and con­scious­ness. I am deter­mi­ned not to gam­ble, or to use alco­hol, drugs, or any other pro­ducts which con­tain toxins, such as cer­tain web­sites, elec­tro­nic games, TV pro­grams, films, maga­zi­nes, books, and con­ver­sa­ti­ons. I will prac­ti­ce com­ing back to the pre­sent moment to be in touch with the refres­hing, healing and nou­ris­hing ele­ments in me and around me, not let­ting reg­rets and sor­row drag me back into the past nor let­ting anxie­ties, fear, or cra­ving pull me out of the pre­sent moment. I am deter­mi­ned not to try to cover up lone­li­ness, anxie­ty, or other suf­fe­ring by losing mys­elf in con­sump­ti­on. I will con­tem­pla­te inter­being and con­su­me in a way that pre­ser­ves peace, joy, and well-being in my body and con­scious­ness, and in the collec­ti­ve body and con­scious­ness of my fami­ly, my socie­ty and the Earth.