The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings

The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings were developed by Thich Nhat Hanh for his practice community, The Order of Interbeing. They are guidelines for a happy and peaceful life as individuals, families, communities, nations. We have modified them a little because we are not monks or nuns.

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. These teachings are guiding means to help us learn to look deeply and to develop our understanding and compassion. They are not doctrines to fight, kill or die for.

The Second Mindfulness Training: Nonattachment from 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 shall learn and practice nonattachment from views in order to be open to others' insights and experiences. We are aware that the knowledge we presently possess is not changeless, absolute truth. Truth is found in life, and we will observe life within and around us in every moment, ready to learn throughout our lives.

The Third Mindfulness Training: Freedom of Thought

Aware of the suffering brought about when we impose our views on others, we are committed not to force others, even our children, by any means whatsoever- such as authority, threat, money, propaganda, or indoctrination- to adopt our views. We will respect the rights of others to be different and to choose what to believe and how to decide. We will, however, help others to renounce fanaticism and narrowness through compassionate dialogue.

The Fourth Mindfulness Training: Awareness of Suffering

Aware that looking deeply at the nature of suffering can help us develop compassion and find ways out of suffering, we are determined not to avoid or close our eyes before suffering. We are committed to finding ways, including personal contact, images, and sounds, to be with those who suffer, so we can understand their situation deeply and help them transform their suffering into compassion, peace and joy.

The Fifth Mindfulness Training: Simple, Healthy Living

Aware that true happiness is rooted in peace, solidity, freedom and compassion, and not in wealth or fame, we are determined not to take as the aim of our life fame, profit, wealth, or sensual pleasure, nor to accumulate wealth while millions are hungry and dying. We are committed to living simply and sharing our time, energy and material resources with those in need. We will practice mindful consuming, not abusing alcohol, drugs or any other products that bring toxins into our own and the collective body and consciousness.

The Sixth Mindfulness Training: Dealing with Anger

Aware that anger blocks communication and creates suffering, we are determined to take care of the energy of anger when it arises and to recognize and transform the seeds of anger that lie deep in our consciousness. When anger comes up, we are determined not to do or say anything, but to practice mindful breathing or mindful walking and acknowledge, embrace and look deeply into our anger. We will learn to look with the eyes of compassion at those we think are the cause of our anger.

The Seventh Mindfulness Training: Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment

Aware that life is available only in the present moment and that it is possible to live happily in the here and now, 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 of the present. We will practice mindful breathing to come back to what is happening in the present moment. We are determined to learn the art of mindful living by touching the wondrous, refreshing and healing elements that are inside and around us, and by nourishing seeds of joy, peace, love and understanding in ourselves, thus facilitating the work of transformation and healing in our consciousness.

The Eighth Mindfulness Training: Community and Communication

Aware that the lack of communication always brings separation and suffering, we are committed to training ourselves in the practice of compassionate listening and loving speech. We will learn to listen deeply without judging or reacting and refrain from uttering words that can create discord or cause the community to break. We will make every effort to keep communications open and to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.

The Ninth Mindfulness Training: Truthful and Loving Speech

Aware that words can create suffering or happiness, we are committed to learning to speak truthfully and constructively, using only words that inspire hope or confidence. We are determined not to say untruthful things for the hope and confidence. We are determined not to say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people, and not to utter words that might cause division or hatred. We will not spread news that we do not know to be certain or 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 threaten our safety.

The Tenth Mindfulness Training: Protecting the Community of Mindful Living

Aware that our aim is the practice of understanding and compassion, we are determined not to use our community for personal gain or profit, or transform it into a political instrument. A spiritual community should, however, take a clear stand against oppression and injustice, and should strive to change the situation without engaging in partisan conflicts.

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 helps realize our ideal of understanding and compassion. Aware of global economic, political and social realities, we will behave responsibly as consumers and as citizens, not investing in companies that deprive others of their change 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, understanding, and compassion in our daily lives, to promote peace, education, mindful mediation, and reconciliation with families, communities, nations and in the world. We are determined not to kill and not to let others kill. We will diligently practice deep looking with our community to discover better ways to protect life and prevent war.

The Thirteenth Mindfulness Training: Generosity

Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, we are committed to cultivating loving kindness and learning ways to work for the well-being of others. We will practice generosity by 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 others.

The Fourteenth Mindfulness Training: Right Conduct

Aware 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 long-term commitment. In sexual relations, we must be aware of future suffering that may be caused. We know that to preserve the happiness of ourselves and others, we must respect the rights are commitments of ourselves and others. We will do everything in our power to protect children from sexual misconduct. We will be fully aware of the responsibility of bringing new lives into the world, and will meditate on the world into which we are bringing new beings.