Five Buddhist Precepts

Five Buddhist Precepts

Why Follow Buddhist Precepts

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The five Buddhist precepts (part of Sila, or ethics in Sanskrit) are practices or rules that serve as the ethical foundation of Buddhist practice for laypeople. Monks or nuns may have many additional precepts, depending on their sect.

The five lay Buddhist precepts are as follows:

  • To refrain from taking life.
  • To refrain from sexual misconduct.
  • Refrain from wrong or hurtful speech.
  • Refrain from intoxicants.
  • To refrain from taking what is not yours.

The phrasing may vary, and the interpretation tends to vary between sects (and even between individuals), as does the strictness with which adherents choose to follow them.

They were an important part of Buddhism from the very early stages, and are typically part of the Buddhist ordination or refuge ceremony.

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Perplexity likes to write, tries to get herself to sit daily, and is working on changing the dukkha she can and accepting the dukkha she cannot change.

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