The Perfection of Discipline

Of the Six Perfections – generosity, discipline, patience, energy, meditation, and wisdom – the perfection of discipline means to live in accord with the precepts. As we have seen, the Five Precepts are: to not kill, to not steal, to not be involved in sexual misconduct, to not speak falsely, and to not use intoxicants that cloud the mind. Buddhism recognizes that until we are awakened it is very difficult to live in full accord with the precepts. It is difficult because the precepts are actually a description of awakened conduct. So as our practice enables us to receive the merits of the Buddha’s awakening, it also enables us to become loving, generous, faithful, truthful, and mindful. Until we are fully awakened, however, the precepts act as guidelines that keep our practice honest and point out how to avoid harming ourselves and others. They are tools for self-reflection and can show us how to maintain our integrity and bring about benefit for ourselves and others.

Lotus Seeds