Ahimsa and Right Action

Ahimsa, do no harm, is a frequent theme in many religions. From the Jesus's instructions to turn the other cheek to the Jain tradition to avoid eating garlic and root vegetables because of the bugs they kill, abstaining from harm can take on many different guises when it comes to action. In the Buddhist tradition, this precept is addressed early on within the
eightfold path, specifically within Right Action it is the first of five precepts: "to abstain from harming sentient beings, especially to abstain from taking life (including suicide) and doing harm intentionally or delinquently". Or you can find it in the
Dhammapada more poetically: Do no harm, Do only good, Purify your intentions, This is the teaching of all Buddhas - Dhammapada 1:83 At this meetup we'll spend the first hour reviewing the
four noble truths and the
eight fold path just to put this precept in perspective. The second hour we'll dive deeper into the precepts of Right Action (because each step of the path could easily take an hour to explore) and noble truths just to put this in perspective then move on to focus on this precept and the other four if we have time. If there is a translation or interpretation of the precepts that inspires you (or that you have questions about) please bring it to share and discuss with the group. Specifically we'll review differences in several translations and interpretations and discuss how relevant the precepts are in today's world. If they relevant, how would you or do you apply them? Below are the online sources I have found that we'll be discussing
Bhikkhu Cintita Dinsmore (has spoken at our meet up groups in the past)
Thich Nhat Hanh
The Big View

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks everyone for attending and joining in the discussion - it was a great mix of perspectives.

    November 12, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    Meeting was good and it was nice to see new and old faces. Miriam did a fine job presenting this difficult topic.

    November 12, 2010

  • Louise

    I really enjoyed the people and the conversation. Reviewing the basic principles was a great reminder and a wonderful way to stimulate discussion.

    November 12, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    I thought Miriam did a great job preparing the discussion material this meeting and presented it in a way that was easy to follow. She also did a great job moderating the discussion and keeping us on track.

    November 11, 2010

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  • A former member
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Bill

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