The Fourteen Precepts of Engaged Buddhism
- Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.
- Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views.
- Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education.
- Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Find ways to be with those who are suffering, including personal contact, visits, images, and sounds.
- Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.
- Do not maintain anger or hatred. Learn to penetrate and transform them when they are still seeds in your consciousness.
- Practice mindful breathing to come back to what is happening in the present moment.
- 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.
- 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 use the Buddhist community for personal gain or profit, or transform your community into a political party.
- Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their chance to live. Select a vocation that helps realize your ideal of compassion.
- Do not kill. Do not let others kill. Find whatever means possible to protect life and prevent war.
- Possess nothing that should belong to others. Respect the property of others, but prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other species on Earth.
- Do not mistreat your body. Learn to handle it with respect. Do not look on your body as only an instrument. Preserve vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization of the Way.
From “Interbeing: Fourteen Guidelines for Engaged Buddhism,” Revised edition: Oct. 1993 by Thich Nhat Hanh, published by Parallax Press, Berkeley, California.