Five Mindfulness Trainings Recitation Ceremony

Brothers and Sisters, it is now time to recite the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Please join your palms and recite each line of the opening chant after me:

The Dharma is deep and lovely.
We now have a chance to see it, study it, and practice it.
We vow to realize its true meaning.

The Five Mindfulness Trainings are the basis for a happy life. They have the capacity to protect life and to make it beautiful and worth living. They are also the door that opens to enlightenment and liberation. Please listen to each mindfulness training and answer yes, silently, every time you see that you have made the effort to study, practice, and observe it.

First Mindfulness Training

Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to condone any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life.

This is the first of the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Have I made an effort to study and practice it during the past few weeks?

(Bell)

Second Mindfulness Training

Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I am committed to cultivating loving kindness and learning ways to work for the well-being of people, animals, plants, and minerals.

I will practice generosity by sharing my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in real need. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others. I will respect the property of others, but I will prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other species on Earth.

This is the second of the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Have I made an effort to study and practice it during the past few weeks?

(Bell)

Third Mindfulness Training

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful sexual behavior, I am committed to cultivating sexual responsibility and respect in myself and in others.

I will learn ways to protect the physical and emotional integrity of individuals, couples, families, and society. If I choose to engage in sexual relations, I will do so only in a loving and committed relationship. To preserve the happiness of myself and others, I am determined to respect my emotional, physical, and legal commitments to my partner, as well as commitments among other persons. I will do everything in my power to protect children, women, and men from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families from being broken by unmindful sexual behavior. I will be mindful of loneliness and sexual suffering in myself and others and I will be compassionate and nonjudgmental concerning the sexual behavior of others.

This is the third of the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Have I made an effort to study and practice it during the past few weeks?

(Bell)

Fourth Mindfulness Training

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness to others and relieve others of their suffering.

Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to learning to speak truthfully, with words that inspire self-confidence, joy, and hope. I will not spread news that I do not know to be certain and will not criticize or condemn things of which I am not sure. I will refrain from uttering words that can cause division or discord, or that can cause the family or the community to break. I will make all efforts to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.

This is the fourth of the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Have I made an effort to study and practice it during the past few weeks?

(Bell)

Fifth Mindfulness Training

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society, by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming.

I will ingest only items that preserve peace, well-being, and joy in my body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films, and conversations. I am aware that to damage my body or my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society, and future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger, and confusion in myself and in society by practicing a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self-transformation and for the transformation of society.

This is the fifth of the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Have I made an effort to study and practice it during the past few weeks?

(Bell)

Brothers and Sisters, we have recited the Five Mindfulness Trainings, the foundation of happiness for the individual, the family, and society. We should recite them regularly so that our study and practice of the mindfulness trainings can deepen day by day. Please join your palms and recite each line of the closing chant after me:

Reciting the trainings, practicing the way of awareness, gives rise to benefits without limit.
We vow to share the fruits with all beings.
We vow to offer tribute to parents, teachers, friends, and numerous beings,
who give guidance and support along the path.


This version of The Mindfulness Training Recitation Ceremony was adapted from the Plum Village Chanting and Recitation Book by the Still Water Mindfulness Practice Center, 3 August 2004.