The Five Precepts, A Version for Today

The Five Precepts are important guiding principles for a Buddhist’s ethical life. Here is DeepDharma’s updated version.

1) Avoid, as much as possible, intentionally killing living beings, and certainly not killing for sport.

2) Avoid taking what is not freely given.

3) Don’t indulge in sexual misconduct, verbal, psychological, or physical. Sexual conduct must be adult, consensual, safe, and ongoingly affirmed. No sex with children. None, never.

4) Use Right Speech, as much as possible and reasonable:

      1. Speak when conditions suggest you should speak.
      2. Speak gently and kindly, refrain from belittling others or gossiping.
      3. Speak honestly unless conditions suggest otherwise.
      4. Only speak when you have something to say that will be of benefit.
      5. Always speak in ways that can be understood.
      6. Only say it once.
      7. Never go on the battlefield; being of benefit (right intention) isn’t about winning.

5) Avoid misuse or abuse of legal or illegal, recreational or pharmaceutical drugs, that negatively impact one’s health or functioning. Further, avoid other addictive behaviors, like obsessive video gaming or screen time, which also affect our health and functioning.