The Fourteen Precepts of Engaged Buddhism

By Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh (From the book Interbeing)

1. 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.

2. Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice nonattachment from views in order to be open to receive others’ viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.

3. Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education. However, through compassionate dialogue, help others renounce fanaticism and narrow-mindedness.

Click to read more of this article

Zen and the art of subway riding

From In The Fray Magazine – Focusing on the current moment and not worrying about what comes in the next hour, day, or week is counterintuitive to life in 21st-century New York. (Really, 21st-century anywhere. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that even Easter Island, a place so remote it is 2,500 miles from any other land mass, now has high-speed Internet.) My M.O., I’m embarrassed to say, usually involves something like simultaneously eating dinner with the radio on to hear what’s happening now, watching TV with the sound turned down to get the weather for tomorrow, and reading the newspaper to find out what happened yesterday.

Click to read more of this article

Don’t Blame The Lettuce

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce.

Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument.

That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh