Eight Precepts

During full-day retreat days, the following 8 (plus 1) precept apply. They are recited during the morning routine, and they are fundamental to ones practice and progress on the path. We make a conscious choice every day to follow these precepts.

1. Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.

2. Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.

3. Abrahmacariya veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual activity.

4. Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech, telling lies, harsh speech, gossip or slander

5. Suramerayamajja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

I undertake the precept to refrain from taking alcohol and drugs which lead to carelessness.

6. Vikalabhojana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

I undertake the precept to refrain from eating at the forbidden time (i.e., after noon).

7. Nacca-gita-vadita-visukkadassana mala-gandha-vilepana-dharana-mandana-vibhusanathana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

I undertake the precept to refrain from dancing, singing, music, going to see entertainmentswearing garlands, using perfumes, and beautifying the body with cosmetics.

8. Uccasayana-mahasayana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

I undertake the precept to refrain from lying on a high or luxurious sleeping place.

And I undertake the precept to be loving and kind to myself and all other living beings

In addition to the 8 (plus 1) precepts, we will recite the following verses from the Dhammapada together during our morning ritual

Sayings from the Dhammapada
Teacher: Now let us read the verses of the Dhammapada together.
1] Mind is the forerunner of all evil states. Mind is chief; mind made are they. If one speaks or acts with an unwholesome mind, because of that, suffering follows one, even as the wheel follows the hoof of the draft-ox.
2] Mind is the forerunner of all good states. Mind is chief; mind-made are they. If one speaks or acts with a pure mind, because of that, happiness follows one, even as one’s shadow that never leaves.
3] “He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me”, in those who harbor such thoughts hatred is not appeased.
4] “He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me”, in those who do not harbor such thoughts hatred is appeased.
5] Hatred is never overcome by hatred in this world. Hatred is only overcome by love. This is an eternal law.
11] In the unessential we imagine the essential, in the essential we see the unessential, anyone who entertains such wrong thoughts never will realize the truth.
12] What is essential we regard as essential, what is unessential we regard as unessential, anyone who entertains such right thoughts will realize the truth.
16] Here one develops a mind that rejoices now, and in the future one rejoices. In both states the well-doer rejoices. One who rejoices a lot will be able to see the purity of their own deeds, speech and thoughts.
18] When one is happy now, they will be happy in the future. In both states the well-doer is happy. Thinking “I have done good in the past” one becomes happy and will easily experience a blissful state of mind.
19] Though a person recites sacred texts, but doesn’t act accordingly, that heedless person is like a cowherd who counts others’ cows. They have no share in the fruits of the holy life.
20] Though a person recites the sacred texts very little, but acts in accordance with the teaching, they give up lust, hatred and delusion. They truly know what is good and this leads to a mind that is free from suffering. They cling to nothing here and in the future. In this way, one shares the fruits of the holy life.

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