The Buddhist ethics of decency

  • Wellington Friends Centre 7 Moncrieff Street Mt Victoria, Wellington 6011 New Zealand

Derek LeDayn will introduce the ethical precepts that meditation practitioners use to guide their lives into a decent way of living. They are refraining from:

  1. harming living things
  2. taking what is not given
  3. sexual misconduct
  4. lying, or gossip
  5. misuse of intoxicants, such as drugs or alcohol and other addictive behaviours.

Looking at virtue and ethics pragmatically, not whether something is good or bad, we ask ‘does this action lead to increased suffering or increased happiness, for myself and others?’. Taking a pragmatic approach helps us investigate our actions, rather than cause us to feel guilt.

Rather than commandments, these are considered ‘training rules’. Practitioners who use these precepts as a discipline for the support of our practice find they promote the development of meditation, wisdom and compassion. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were more people with the intention, sensitivity and purity of heart represented by these five precepts.

Please come along, and join in the discussion if you feel so moved.