The Five Precepts

Early next year the Bangkok Hanmaum Seonwon will be holding a ceremony for those wishing to formally take Buddhist refuge and precepts. The exact date has yet to be announced, but anyone interested in taking part is encouraged to come along to the next Bangkok Seon Club for more details.

Last month, as we continued our discussion at a local ice-cream place, the topic of next year’s ceremony came up. Someone asked about the exact wording of the precepts in the Hanmaum tradition, and so here they are, as written on my own Certificate of Precepts witnessed by Chong Go Sunim:

The Five Precepts

Being in harmony with one’s fundamental mind is the source of all upright behaviour. So always observe within yourself, returning there whatever confronts you, and uncover your inherently bright, true nature.

1. The Precept of Not Killing.
Knowing that all other lives are part of my life,
I vow to treat all other bodies as I would my own.

2. The Precept of Not Stealing.
Letting go of desires for others’ possessions,
I vow to cultivate generosity.

3. The Precept of Avoiding Improper Sexual Conduct.
Letting go of lust and harmful states of mind,
I vow to strive to keep my mind pure.

4. The Precept of Avoiding Harmful Speech.
I will not tell lies.
Being careful of what I say,
I vow to live with truth and sincerity.

5. The Precept of Avoiding Intoxicants.
I will never drink to excess.
For the sake of myself and others,
I vow to live within my limits.

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Link: WUaL: On Formally Taking the Five Precepts

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