Category Archives: Harmlessness

Guardians of the world

Sometimes at Buddhist ceremonies, laypeople are given “protection cords”, bracelets made of thread that we are meant to wear until they fall off. If we ask what the cords are protecting us from, the answer most often given is “from … Continue reading

Posted in Causes and results, Dukkha, General, Harmlessness, Karma, Mindfulness, Precepts, Relationships | 1 Comment

What is merit?

In many cultures, an essential part of Buddhist practice is “making merit” by doing good works, serving the ordained sangha (monks and nuns), and giving money to worthy (not exclusively Buddhist) organizations. Overwhelmingly, making merit is seen as putting currency … Continue reading

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How to support a suffering friend

When someone we know is ill or suffering a great loss, there are many ways we can help and just as many ways in which we can unconsciously harm. Often when we don’t know what to say, we either avoid … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, Dukkha, General, Harmlessness, Relationships, Speech | 3 Comments

Right Livelihood

The last of the three factors in the “ethical living” portion of the Eightfold Path is Right Livelihood. This is a down-to-earth, practical consideration. For many of us work is our primary interaction with other people and so may have … Continue reading

Posted in General, Harmlessness, Livelihood, Precepts, The 8-fold path | 1 Comment

Right Action – the social contract

The second of the three factors in the “ethical” or “morality” section of the Eightfold Path is Right Action. For laypeople (that’s us) this refers to the five precepts: “I undertake the training rule to… refrain from killing, refrain from … Continue reading

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How to care

In his book Don’t Push, Ajahn Amaro tells the moving story of his mother’s final illness and shares a useful lesson. Ajahn Amaro’s sister took their mother, Mrs. Horner, to a doctor when her skin color turned odd, which the … Continue reading

Posted in Causes and results, Compassion, Death and dying, Harmlessness, Relationships, Sublime states | 1 Comment

Responding vs reacting

Further to our conversation in the past few posts, here is a clarifying question and answer from Ajahn Amaro’s book, “I’m Right, You’re Wrong!”: Question: Going back to the story about the monk, if someone is harming others, when, how … Continue reading

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