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Universal Peace Teachings

Five Precepts  The Bible  Heart Sutra  Prayer of St. Francis

The Five Wonderful Precepts
Excerpts from: "For A Future To Be Possible" by Thich Nhat Hanh
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First Precept:
Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I vow to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to condone any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life.

Second Precept:
Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing and oppression, I vow to cultivate loving kindness and learn ways to work for the well-being of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I vow 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.

Third Precept:
Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I vow 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 long-term 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.

Fourth Precept:
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I vow 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 vow 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.

Fifth Precept:
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking and consuming. I vow 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. Back to Top Continue...

The Bible (Order from Educational Resources)

Matthew 6:9-13 (The Lord's Prayer)
Our father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.

Matthew 7:12 (The Golden Rule)
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

Matthew 5:3-12 (The Beatitudes)
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake.

Matthew 7:7
Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

I Corinthians 13:13
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

23rd Palms
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Hebrews 12:14
Follow peace with all men, and holiness - without which no man shall see the Lord.

John 13:34 (Brotherly Love)
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Luke 6:38
Give and it shall be given unto you.

John 10:10
The thief cometh to steal and to kill, and to destroy: I come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

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The Great Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra
The Heart Sutra is the Great Universal Buddhist teaching on Emptiness.

Avalokitesara Bodhisattva, practicing deep prajna paramita, clearly saw that all five skandas are empty, transforming all suffering and distress.

Shariputra, form is no other than emptiness, emptiness no other than form; form is exactly emptiness, emptiness exactly form; sensation, thought, impulse, consciousness are also like this. Shariputra, all things are marked by emptiness - not born, not destroyed; not stained, not pure; without gain, without loss.

Therefore, in emptiness there is no form, no sensation, thought, impulse, consciousness; no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind; no color, sound, smell, taste, touch, object of thought, no realm of sight to no realm of thought; no ignorance and also no ending of ignorance; to no old age and death and also no ending of old age and death; no suffering, also no source of suffering; no annihilation, no path; no wisdom, also no attainment. Having nothing to attain, Bodhisattvas live prajna paramita, with no hindrance in the mind. No hindrance, thus no fear. Far beyond delusive thinking, they attain complete nirvana.

All Buddhas, past present and future, live prajna paramita, and thus attain supreme enlightenment. Therefore know that prajna paramita is the great mantra, the wisdom mantra, the unsurpassed mantra, the supreme mantra, which completely removes all suffering. This is truth, not a lie. Therefore set forth the prajna paramita mantra. Set forth this mantra and declare:

Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhisvaha (3X)
(Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone beyond the beyond)

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Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And is in (our ego)* dying that we are born to eternal life.

*editor's note

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