The traditional religion of Buddhism revolves around the fundamental Buddhist concepts such as compassion, emptiness, and the essence of a Buddha or the ‘enlightened one’.
Buddhism aims to free humanity from suffering by helping it learn how to live a life of compassion and peace.
There are countless articles about Buddhist teachings and Buddhist philosophy that tell you what you should do and how you should do it.
However, this one will tell you 10 things you shouldn’t do based on Buddhist principles, and by simply not doing these 10 things you can make the world a better place.
It’s only when our hearts are at peace and serene that we can be more compassionate with others and able to help our society rise from greed and consumerism.
Here are the 10 DON’Ts according to Engaged Buddhism, they’re very much useful to anyone who has a sincere heart and wants to live a life of purpose and compassion.
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 non attachment 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 to adopt your views.
Do not force your views unto others, including children, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education. Show them your views through compassionate dialogue, but let them develop their own, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness.
4. Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering.
Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering, including personal contact, visits, images, and sounds. By such means, awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world.
5. 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.
6. Do not kill.
Do not let others kill. Find whatever means possible to protect life and prevent war.
7. Do not lose yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings.
Practice mindful breathing to come back to what is happening in the present moment. Be in touch with what is wondrous, refreshing, and healing both inside and around you. Plant seeds of joy, peace, and understanding in yourself in order to facilitate the work of transformation in the depths of your consciousness.
8. 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.
9. 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 criticize or condemn things of which you are not sure. Always speak truthfully and constructively. Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten your own safety.
10. Do not use the Buddhist community for personal gain.
Do not use the community mainly for profit, or transform it into a political party. The Buddhist community should take a clear stand against oppression and injustice and should strive to change the situation without engaging in partisan conflicts.