Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Love in Action

During our journey together.  I have presented a number of practices to help us maintain mindfulness of what is going on inside us and immediately around us.  Now, as we make our way through the wider world, some additional guidelines can help and protect us.  We call them the fourteen precepts of the Order of Interbeing.
1. Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology.  All systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.
2. Do not think that the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth.  Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views.
3. Do not force other to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, propaganda, or even education.
4. Do no avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering.
5. Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry.  Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.
6. Do not maintain anger or hatred.  Learn to penetrate and transform them while they are still seeds in your consciousness.  As soon as anger or hatred arise, turn your attention to your breathing in order to see and understand the nature of your anger or hatred and the nature of the persons who have caused your anger or hatred.
7. Do not love yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings.  Practice mindful breathing in order to come back to what is happening in the present moment.  Be in touch with what is wondrous, refreshing, and healing, both inside and around yourself.
8. Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break.  Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.
9.  Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people.  Do not utter words that cause division and hatred.  Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain.  Do not criticize or condemn things that you are not sure of.  Always speak truthfully and constructively.
10. Do not use the religious community for personal gain or profit, or transform your community into a political party.
11. Select a vocation that helps realize your ideal of compassion.
12. Do not kill.  Do not let others kill.  Find whatever means possible to protect life and prevent war.
13. Possess nothing that should belong to others.  Respect the property of others but prevent others from enriching themselves from human suffering or the suffering of other beings.
14. Do not mistreat your body.  Learn to handle it with respect. Respect the rights and commitments of others.
Wisdom from PEACE IS EVERY STEP - Thich Nhat Hanh

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