Making a Commitment with the Five Mindfulness Trainings

Text of the Nonsectarian Ceremony mb37-Making1

Mindful sitting in silence: twelve minutes. Those who wish to receive the trainings sit facing the brothers and sisters who have come to support them.

Spokesperson: Noble community, let us celebrate our togetherness by singing two times, “I have arrived, I am home.” Now let us practice the Opening Procedure.

Opening Procedure

Question: Has our whole community assembled? Response: Our whole community has gathered.

Question: Is there harmony in our community? Response: Yes, there is harmony.

Question: Why has the community gathered today? Response: The community has gathered today to give support to those who are making a commitment with the Five Mindfulness Trainings.

Brothers and sisters, today, the _____   of _____ , has been chosen as the day when a commitment with the Five Mindfulness Trainings can be made. The community has gathered at the appointed time and is ready to make the commitment in an atmosphere of harmony and therefore the matter can proceed. Is that correct?

Everyone: Correct. (bell)

Today we have gathered to give support to our brothers and sisters who are going to make their commitment to keep the Two Promises and to live according to the Mindfulness Trainings. We shall all follow our breathing when we hear the sound of the bell to help us be truly present for each other. The sound of the bell is the voice of our true selves calling us back to our true home.

Optional: Those who are making the commitment can now stand and place a flower in a vase in front of them, and then return to their seats. The flower is a symbol of the newness and freshness of the mind of those who are making the commitment.

The brothers and sisters who are going to make the commitment to keep the Two Promises and to live according to the Five Mindfulness Trainings, please be mindful of your feeling of gratitude. After each sound of the bell, please dwell peacefully in the feeling of gratitude, following your breathing. Would the whole community please practice mindful breathing too, so that we may be fully present to support our brothers and sisters.

  • Being mindful of our parents who gave us birth, making our life possible, we breathe in and out three times in (Bell followed by silence for at least three in and out breaths).
  • Being mindful of our teachers who show us the way towards peace and happiness, we breathe in and out three times in (Bell followed by silence for at least three in and out breaths).
  • Being mindful of all beings in the animal, vegetable, and mineral worlds who support our life and make it beautiful, we breathe in and out three times in (Bell followed by silence for at least three in and out breaths).

Brothers and sisters, we have seen that everything is moving on, that nothing in life is permanent, and that safety, happiness, and well-being cannot be gained by money, fame, or possessions. Our practice of mindfulness has shown us that it is possible to live the present moment with peace and joy. Therefore we wish to declare our confidence in that which enables us to live the present moment in peace, joy, and contentment.

Brothers and sisters, this is the concrete expression of the Three Declarations:

  1. I have confidence in the capacity of all beings to attain great understanding, peace, and
  2. I have confidence in the practice, which helps us to walk on the path of great understanding, peace, and
  3. I have confidence in the community, which is committed to the practice of understanding, peace, and love.

Noble community, please join our brothers and sisters in expressing commitment to the confidences by repeating after me:

  • I have confidence in the capacity of all beings /to attain great understanding, peace, and (bell)
  • I have confidence in the practice/ which helps us to walk on the path/ of great understanding, peace, and love. (bell)
  • I have confidence in the community/ which is committed to the practice /of understanding, peace, and love. (bell)

Brothers and sisters, you have formally declared your confidence in the mindfulness practice. This will help you to discover mindfulness in your own heart and bring it constantly into your daily life. Beginning today, with the support of the whole community, you will apply your mind to learning about and practicing the way of understanding and love, which means to nourish the ability to love and understand within yourself. You will attend days and retreats of mindfulness and recitations of the Mindfulness Trainings in order to keep your practice of mindfulness alive.

Brothers and sisters, this is the time for the children to solemnly make the Two Promises in the presence of the great community.

Please, brothers and sisters, join the children in repeating after me the First Promise:

I vow to develop understanding/ in order to live peacefully with people/animals, plants, and minerals.

In the presence of all of us, do you want to make this promise with yourselves and with the community? Please say, “Yes, I do.” Please enjoy breathing two times. (bell)

This is the Second Promise:

I vow to develop my compassion/ in order to protect the lives of people/animals, plants, and minerals.

In the presence of all of us, do you want to make this promise with yourselves and with the community? Please say, “Yes, I do.” Young people, understanding and love are the most beautiful things in life. If we do not make an effort to be open to understand the suffering of other people, we will not be able to love them and to live in harmony

with them. We should try to understand and protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals, and to live in harmony with them. If we can’t understand, we cannot love. Understanding is love itself. Please do your best to keep the Two Promises to bring peace and happiness to yourselves, your family, school, and society. (bell)

Now is the time to make the commitment with the Mindfulness Trainings. These trainings have the capacity to protect life and make it beautiful. They encourage us in the direction of peace, joy, liberation, and awakening. They are the foundation for individual happiness and the happiness of the family and society. The Mindfulness Trainings help us avoid making mistakes which create suffering, fear, and despair. Practicing the Trainings, we are able to build peace and happiness in ourselves and in our family, and joy and peace in our society. The wholesome collective energy of the community will support you and bear witness in this moment for you to make the commitment to live your daily life in the direction shown by the Five Trainings.

Representing the community, I will now recite the Mindfulness Trainings one by one. Please listen carefully to each Training with a calm and clear mind. Please say, “Yes, I do.” every time you see you have the willingness and the capacity to receive, study and live according to the Mindfulness training read.

Sisters and brothers, are you ready?

Answer: Yes, we are ready.

The First Mindfulness Training

Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined to try my very best to avoid killing, to prevent others from killing, and not to support any act of violence in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life.

This is the first of the Five Mindfulness Trainings.

Do you make a commitment to study and practice it? Answer: Yes, I do. (bell)

The Second Mindfulness Training

Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I am committed to cultivate loving kindness and learn ways to work for the well-being of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am committed to practice generosity by sharing my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in real need. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others. I will respect the property of others, but I will prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other species on Earth.

This is the second of the Five Mindfulness Trainings.

Do you make a commitment to study and practice i t? Answer: Yes, I do. (bell)

The Third Mindfulness Training

Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I am committed to cultivate responsibility and learn ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families, and society. I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without love and a longterm commitment. To preserve the happiness of myself and others, I am determined to respect my commitments and the commitments of others. I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct.

This is the third of the Five Mindfulness Trainings.

Do you make a commitment to study and practice it? Answer: Yes, I do. (bell)

The Fourth Mindfulness Training

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivate loving speech and deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness to others and relieve others of their suffering. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to learn to speak truthfully, with words that inspire self-confidence, joy, and hope. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to criticize or condemn things of which I am not sure. I will refrain from uttering words that can cause division or discord, or that can cause the family or the community to break. I will make all efforts to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.

This is the fourth of the Five Mindfulness Trainings.

Do you make a commitment to study and practice it? Answer: Yes, I do. (bell)

The Fifth Mindfulness Training

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I am committed to ingest only items that preserve peace, well-being, and joy in my body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films, and conversations. I am aware that to damage my body or my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society, and future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger, and confusion in myself and in society by practicing a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self-transformation and for the transformation of society.

This is the fifth of the Five Mindfulness Trainings.

Do you make a commitment to study and practice it? Answer: Yes, I do. (bell)

Brothers and sisters, you have made a commitment with the Mindfulness Trainings which are the foundation of happiness in the family and in society. By practicing them you will be able to help others. If you can recite the Trainings often, at least once a month, your understanding and practice of them can grow deeper every day. You can organize a recitation in the mindfulness practice center or at home with friends. You can recite them on your own but the effect is much stronger when you recite them with others.

Brothers and sisters, I will now read the certificate of commitment. (Hearing their name read, the brothers and sisters come up to receive their certificates.) Let us conclude our formal gathering by singing together, “Happiness is here and now.”

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