Mindfulness Trainings

5 Contemplations
5 Mindfulness Trainings
14 Mindfulness Trainings
Mindfulness Practices

14 Mindfulness Trainings - for printing

In Spanish
5 Contemplations
5 Mindfulness Trainings
14 Mindfulness Trainings

Revised Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings

This version was used by Thẩy for the Great Ordination ceremony in Plum Village – Feb. 2012

The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings are the very essence of the Order of Interbeing. They are the torch lighting our path, the boat carrying us, the teacher guiding us. They allow us to touch the nature of interbeing in everything that is, and to see that our happiness in not separate from the happiness of others. Interbeing is not a theory; it is a reality that can be directly experienced by each of us at any moment. The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings help us cultivate concentration and insight which free us from fear and the illusion of a separate self.

The First Mindfulness Training: Openness

Aware of the suffering created by fanaticism and intolerance,
we are determined not to be idolatrous about or bound to any
doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. We are committed
to seeing the Buddhist teachings as guiding means that
help us develop our understanding and compassion. They are not
doctrines to fight, kill, or die for. We understand that fanaticism
in its many forms is the result of perceiving things in a dualistic
and discriminative manner. We will train ourselves to look at
everything with openness and the insight of interbeing in order to
transform dogmatism and violence in ourselves and in the world.

The Second Mindfulness Training: Nonattachment to Views

Aware of the suffering created by attachment to views and wrong
perceptions, we are determined to avoid being narrow-minded
and bound to present views. We are committed to learning and
practicing nonattachment from views and being open to others’
experiences and insights in order to benefit from the collective
wisdom. We are aware that the knowledge we presently possess
is not changeless, absolute truth. Insight is revealed through the
practice of compassionate listening, deep looking, and letting go
of notions rather than through the accumulation of intellectual
knowledge. Truth is found in life, and we will observe life within
and around us in every moment, ready to learn throughout our

The Third Mindfulness Training: Freedom of Thought

Aware of the suffering brought about when we impose our
views on others, we are determined not to force others, even our
children, by any means whatsoever—such as authority, threat,
money, propaganda, or indoctrination—to adopt our views. We
are committed to respecting the right of others to be different,
to choose what to believe and how to decide. We will, however,
learn to help others let go of and transform fanaticism and narrowness
through loving speech and compassionate dialogue.

The Fourth Mindfulness Training: Awareness of Suffering

Aware that looking deeply at the nature of suffering can help
us develop understanding and compassion, we are determined
to come home to ourselves, to recognize, accept, embrace and
listen to suffering with the energy of mindfulness. We will do
our best not to run away from our suffering or cover it up through
consumption, but practice conscious breathing and walking to
look deeply into the roots of our suffering. We know we can
realize the path leading to the transformation of suffering only
when we understand deeply the roots of suffering. Once we have
understood our own suffering, we will be able to understand the
suffering of others. We are committed to finding ways, including
personal contact and using telephone, electronic, audio-visual,
and other means, to be with those who suffer, so we can help
them transform their suffering into compassion, peace, and joy.

The Fifth Mindfulness Training: Compassionate, Healthy Living

Aware that true happiness is rooted in peace, solidity, freedom,
and compassion, we are determined not to accumulate wealth
while millions are hungry and dying nor to take as the aim of our
life fame, power, wealth, or sensual pleasure, which can bring
much suffering and despair. We will practice looking deeply into
how we nourish our body and mind with edible foods, sense impressions,
volition, and consciousness. We are committed not to
gamble or to use alcohol, drugs or any other products which bring
toxins into our own and the collective body and consciousness
such as certain websites, electronic games, music, TV programs,
films, magazines, books and conversations. We will consume in a
way that preserves compassion, well-being, and joy in our bodies
and consciousness and in the collective body and consciousness
of our families, our society, and the earth.

The Sixth Mindfulness Training: Taking Care of Anger

Aware that anger blocks communication and creates suffering,
we are committed to taking care of the energy of anger when it
arises, and to recognizing and transforming the seeds of anger
that lie deep in our consciousness. When anger manifests, we
are determined not to do or say anything, but to practice mindful
breathing or mindful walking to acknowledge, embrace, and look
deeply into our anger. We know that the roots of anger are not
outside of ourselves but can be found in our wrong perceptions
and lack of understanding of the suffering in ourselves and in the
other person. By contemplating impermanence, we will be able
to look with the eyes of compassion at ourselves and at those we
think are the cause of our anger, and to recognize the preciousness
of our relationships. We will practice Right Diligence in
order to nourish our capacity of understanding, love, joy and
inclusiveness, gradually transforming our anger, violence, and
fear, and helping others do the same.

The Seventh Mindfulness Training: Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment

Aware that life is available only in the present moment, we are committed
to training ourselves to live deeply each moment of daily life.
We will try not to lose ourselves in dispersion or be carried away by
regrets about the past, worries about the future, or craving, anger,
or jealousy in the present. We will practice mindful breathing to be
aware of what is happening in the here and the now. We are determined
to learn the art of mindful living by touching the wondrous,
refreshing, and healing elements that are inside and around us, in
all situations. In this way, we will be able to cultivate seeds of joy,
peace, love, and understanding in ourselves, thus facilitating the
work of transformation and healing in our consciousness. We are
aware that real happiness depends primarily on our mental attitude
and not on external conditions, and that we can live happily in the
present moment simply by remembering that we already have more
than enough conditions to be happy.

The Eighth Mindfulness Training: True Community and Communication

Aware that lack of communication always brings separation and
suffering, we are committed to training ourselves in the practice
of compassionate listening and loving speech. Knowing that true
community is rooted in inclusiveness and in the concrete practice
of the harmony of views, thinking and speech, we will practice to
share our understanding and experiences with members in our community
in order to arrive at a collective insight. We are determined
to learn to listen deeply without judging or reacting and to refrain
from uttering words that can create discord or cause the community
to break. Whenever difficulties arise, we will remain in our Sangha
and practice looking deeply into ourselves and others to recognize
all the causes and conditions, including our own habit energies, that
have brought about the difficulties. We will take responsibility for
the ways we may have contributed to the conflict and keep communication
open. We will not behave as a victim but be active in
finding ways to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.

The Ninth Mindfulness Training: Truthful and Loving Speech

Aware that words can create happiness or suffering, we are committed
to learning to speak truthfully, lovingly and constructively. We
will use only words that inspire joy, confidence and hope as well
as promote reconciliation and peace in ourselves and among other
people. We will speak and listen in a way that can help ourselves
and others to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult
situations. We are determined not to say untruthful things for the
sake of personal interest or to impress people, nor to utter words that
might cause division or hatred. We will protect the happiness and
harmony of our Sangha by refraining from speaking about the faults
of another person in their absence and always ask ourselves whether
our perceptions are correct. We will speak only with the intention
to understand and help transform the situation. We will not spread
rumors nor criticize or condemn things of which we are not sure.
We will do our best to speak out about situations of injustice, even
when doing so may make difficulties for us or threaten our safety.

The Tenth Mindfulness Training: Protecting and Nourishing the Sangha

Aware that the essence and aim of a Sangha is the realization of
understanding and compassion, we are determined not to use the
Buddhist community for personal power or profit or transform our
community into a political instrument. However, as members of a
spiritual community, we should take a clear stand against oppression
and injustice. We should strive to change the situation, without
taking sides in a conflict. We are committed to learning to look with
the eyes of interbeing and to see ourselves and others as cells in one
Sangha body. As a true cell in the Sangha body, generating mindfulness,
concentration and insight to nourish ourselves and the whole
community, each of us is at the same time a cell in the Buddha body.
We will actively build brotherhood and sisterhood, flow as a river,
and practice to develop the three real powers—understanding, love
and cutting through afflictions—to realize collective awakening.

The Eleventh Mindfulness Training: Right Livelihood

Aware that great violence and injustice have been done to our
environment and society, we are committed not to live with a vocation
that is harmful to humans and nature. We will do our best to
select a livelihood that contributes to the well-being of all species
on earth and helps realize our ideal of understanding and compassion.
Aware of economic, political, and social realities around the
world, as well as our interrelationship with the ecosystem, we are
determined to behave responsibly as consumers and as citizens. We
will not invest in or purchase from companies that contribute to the
depletion of natural resources, harm the earth, and deprive others
of their chance to live.

The Twelfth Mindfulness Training: Reverence for Life

Aware that much suffering is caused by war and conflict, we are determined to cultivate nonviolence, compassion, and the insight of interbeing in our daily lives and promote peace education, mindful mediation, and reconciliation within families, communities, ethnic and religious groups, nations, and in the world. We are committed not to kill and not to let others kill. We will not support any act of killing in the world, in our thinking, or in our way of life. We will diligently practice deep looking with our Sangha to discover better ways to protect life, prevent war, and build peace.

The Thirteenth Mindfulness Training: Generosity

Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, steal­ing, and oppression, we are committed to cultivating generosity in our way of thinking, speaking, and acting. We will practice loving kindness by working for the happiness of people, animals, plants, and minerals, and sharing our time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need. We are determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others. We will respect the property of others, but will try to prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other beings.

The Fourteenth Mindfulness Training: True Love

[For lay members]: Aware that sexual desire is not love and that sexual relations motivated by craving cannot dissipate the feeling of loneliness but will create more suffering, frustration, and isolation, we are determined not to engage in sexual relations without mutual understanding, love, and a deep long-term commitment made known to our family and friends. Seeing that body and mind are one, we are committed to learning appropriate ways to take care of our sexual energy and to cultivating loving kindness, compassion, joy and inclusiveness for our own happiness and the happiness of others. We must be aware of future suffering that may be caused by sexual relations. We know that to preserve the happiness of ourselves and others, we must respect the rights and commitments of ourselves and others. We will do everything in our power to protect children from sexual abuse and to protect couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct. We will treat our bodies with compassion and respect. We are determined to look deeply into the Four Nutriments and learn ways to preserve and channel our vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization of our bodhisattva ideal. We will be fully aware of the responsibility of bringing new lives into the world, and will regularly meditate upon their future environments.

[For monastic members]: Aware that the deep aspiration of a monk or a nun can only be realized when he or she wholly leaves behind the bonds of sensual love, we are committed to practicing chastity and to helping others protect themselves. We are aware that loneli­ness and suffering cannot be alleviated through a sexual relation­ship, but through practicing loving kindness, compassion, joy and inclusiveness. We know that a sexual relationship will destroy our monastic life, will prevent us from realizing our ideal of serving living beings, and will harm others. We will learn appropriate ways to take care of our sexual energy. We are determined not to suppress, to mistreat our body, or to look upon our body as only an instrument, but to learn to handle our body with compassion and respect. We will look deeply into the Four Nutriments in order to preserve and channel our vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization of our bodhisattva ideal.