Category Archives: Precepts

Truthfulness

We’ve come to the end of our consideration of Bhikkhu Bodhi’s book, The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony, and when I contemplate it all together, it strikes me that truthfulness is the foundation of social harmony. Without truthfulness, … Continue reading

Posted in Causes and results, General, Precepts, Speech | 2 Comments

Our actions make us

One is not a brahmin by birth, nor by birth a non-brahmin. By action one becomes a brahmin, by action one becomes a non-brahmin. One becomes a farmer by action, by action one becomes a craftsman. One becomes a merchant … Continue reading

Posted in Causes and results, Friendships, Precepts, Relationships | 1 Comment

Social heirarchy

The Buddha talks about social status in several suttas. At the beginning of MN 96, a Brahmin outlines who is allowed to serve whom, according to the caste system in place at the time. The Buddha replies (in part): I … Continue reading

Posted in Causes and results, General, Precepts, Relationships | 2 Comments

Making a living

The Buddha addressed the issue of how householders acquire and manage their money in several different suttas. Like most things, we can relate to our income and expenditures in healthy or unhealthy ways. In general, we try to avoid obsession … Continue reading

Posted in Causes and results, Generosity, Livelihood, Precepts, Relationships | Leave a comment

Employers and employees

Having covered the four cardinal directions (N, S, E, and W), we come now to the nadir, or lower direction. In this case the Buddha describes a wholesome relationship between people who are not equally powerful in a particular situation. … Continue reading

Posted in Causes and results, General, Precepts, Relationships | Leave a comment

Our relationships

Following along in Bhikkhu Bodhi’s book, The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony, we move our focus now from intentional communities to “natural” communities. These start with family and extend outward to all the other relationships in our lives. … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, Friendships, General, Precepts, Relationships | Leave a comment

Value judgments

“How do I know my practice is working?” “Your life is improving.” Variants of this conversation have happened countless times. Students of the ethical and meditative teachings of the Buddha (and others) will sometimes get frustrated and think, “Why am … Continue reading

Posted in Causes and results, General, Precepts | Leave a comment