The Five Precepts of Buddihism Essay

1582 Words Oct 26th, 2010 7 Pages
The Five Precepts
The Buddhist Precepts are an important element of Buddha’s teachings. These precepts outline basic prohibitions against 1) killing, 2) stealing, 3) sexual misconduct, 4) false speech, and 5) taking intoxicants. These principles are viewed by many as the means to living a life in line with the eight fold path of Buddhism. In his book, For a Future to be Possible, Vietnamese Zen Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh contends that there is a “deep malaise in society” (Hanh, 1998, p. 7) and has established five mindfulness trainings based on the five precepts in Buddhism. He believes studying and practicing these mindfulness trainings “will surely bring peace and happiness to ourselves, our community, and our society” (Hanh,
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Today, many people do not equate taking home office supplies, downloading music, or being lazy at work as “stealing”. Thich Nhat Hanh, in his mindfulness training on the second precept asked that one be “aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing and oppression,” and that one must “vow to cultivate loving kindness and learn ways to work for the well being of people, animals, plants and minerals (Hanh)”
The third precept is to refrain from sexual misconduct. Although this concept is not something unique to the Buddhist teachings, the emphasis on reflection of Buddha’s teachings is different from the way Western religions approach their message. According to meditation master, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, dharma means ‘protection’ and by practicing Buddhism, “we protect ourselves from suffering and problems (Malik, 2009).” One can easily see the benefit of applying this precept and other of Buddha’s teaching into their everyday lives. Essentially, if an individual were to refrain from sexual misconduct such as pre-marital sex or sex with multiple partners they could protect themselves from emotional and physical suffering. The moral issue of sexual misconduct therefore may mean different things to different people. Some sects of Buddhism address issues such as infidelity and homosexuality, but they are usually addressed from the standpoint of what is

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