1. Practise the Metta Bhavana
2. Follow a precept for one day
Choose one day this week. Think about what you will do that is different from your normal behaviour, for example:
• Kindness – go vegetarian for the day, or vegan if you are already vegetarian.
• Generosity – respond to every request, every charity collector; or do some generous act you would not normally do; or pay compliments to as many people at work as you can.
• Contentment – don’t use your phone or social media for a day; or cut out some addictivehabit for the day; or spend some time outdoors not doing much, just appreciating the world.
• Honesty – perhaps the most difficult! – watch your speech, and try to cut out all spin, excuses, exaggeration and so on for the day.
• Awareness – avoid all forms of escapism for the day – drink, drugs, phone, tv etc; instead pay attention to the simple things, go for a walk, or take a long roundabout route back from work, paying attention to the world.
Here is a reminder of the five ethical precepts:
Principles of Buddhist Ethics
• Kindness, not cruelty
• Generosity, grabbiness or exploitation
• Contentment, not craving
• Being genuine, not false
• Awareness, not escapism
The Five Precepts, Positive Form
• With deeds of loving kindness, I purify my body
• With open-handed generosity, I purify my body
• With stillness, simplicity and contentment, I purify my body
• With truthful communication, I purify my speech
• With mindfulness clear and radiant, I purify my mind
The Five Precepts, Negative Form
I undertake the training principle of:
• Not harming living beings
• Not taking the not-given
• Abstaining from sexual misconduct
• Abstaining from false speech
• Abstaining from intoxicants