Buddhist Ethics


“One would not do even the slightest thing
That others who are wise would speak against.
May they be secure and profoundly well;
—May all beings be happy in themselves.” Metta Sutta, Verse 3

“Buddhist ethics are not about absolutes, and do not articulate a “right” and a “wrong” way of acting in the world. Rather they speak of cause and effect, seed and fruit, action and consequence. If you behave in wholesome and healthy ways, there are likely to be wholesome and healthy results, while the reverse is also true.” Quote and translation by Andrew Olendzki in Insight Journal

This is part of what I love about Buddhism: it focuses on results, not commands from on high. You may or may not know what is “right” in a given situation, but you know that some actions are obviously more skillful than others. When moral imperatives clash, sometimes you…

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