Blog Your Blessings: the Zen Precepts

Be good. If you can't be good, at least don't do any harm. Be kind.

These are some of the Zen Precepts as my friend and teacher Brian Vaugh recently presented them to some kids at the Dae Yen Sa Temple and Meditation Center in New Hartford, Connecticut.

I like these few rules because they are few, the are positive, and they are active. Rather than a list of "do nots," these few rules clear a way to a good life even when life isn't easy or particularly kind.

Of course, their simplicity in a way belies the challenge they present in the face of deliberate cruelty, destructive behavior, willful abuse, and the like. It's not easy to be good and kind to a person who has betrayed you or a colleague who has climbed over you to get ahead. Then the desire to get even threatens to take over. The only valid get-out-of-hell-free card is to smile and let it be and move on. When you love your own soul, it's possible.

The abundant life is a walk in love. This is at the heart of all wisdom.

I created a brief video of Brian explaining these precepts in greater detail. If you have a few minutes, please have a look at Brian's thoughts on the Zen precepts.

Blog Your Blessings


  1. So very true. Thank you for sharing this, another addition to the growing positive thoughts in my life.

    Happy Blog your Blessings Sunday!

  2. Great precepts : Simple but effective!

    Happy BYB Sunday and have a great week ahead.

  3. I will go have a look at it now. :) Happy BYB Sunday ...thank you!

  4. Neo kinda stole my thunder in a sense... "Simple but Effective" was what I was thinking... good precepts and tenets to live by.

  5. Yes, how back to basic this really is!

    Happy BYBS!


  6. Anonymous2:27 PM

    How wonderful that someone has simplified the essence of the *golden rule* for children.

    I think as adults we can also take this on board.

    Happy BYB Sunday

  7. Mahalo for sharing. So powerful. Loving Blessings and Happy BYB Sunday!

  8. Love learning about different kinds of blessings. Thanks for sharing!

    Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting on my fall leaves -- Also, I now have my BYB post up -- guess i should start putting it up on Saturday before I go to bed. I forget that people might be all over the world and others have Sunday happening before me.

  9. This entry brought a calm to my soul that I have been searching for. Thank you.

  10. Anonymous11:43 PM

    First, do no harm. A good rule to live by. Great post. I will watch the video


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