In simplest terms, Buddhism has two guiding principles: avoid harming others as much as possible, and help them as much as possible. As expressed in a well-known verse:
Abandon negative action;
Create perfect virtue;
Subdue your mind.
This is the teaching of the Buddha.
These common sense guidelines ground the foundation of ethical living on which all Buddhist practice is built. The goal is to achieve full enlightenment, a state in which all negativities have been abandoned and all good qualities developed to their fullest. We avoid harming others by not acting out of motivations of anger, attachment, and self-centeredness. Virtue is created by activities resulting from positive motivations such as compassion, equanimity, generosity, and patience. We subdue our distracted minds by learning to see things as they really are without the veil of ignorance that currently obscures our understanding of true existence. This way of being was taught by Shakyamuni Buddha more than 2,500 years ago and has been contributing to universal peace, happiness, compassion, and wisdom ever since.
We warmly invite you to explore the vast universe of Buddhism through our rich and multifaceted programming. Ask questions, get involved, find personal meaning, help others, discover new ways of being in the world through the cultivation of your innate goodness. Welcome to Shantideva Center!