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  1. To refrain from taking life – "I take up the way of supporting life and of meeting others on equal ground. "

  2. To refrain from taking that which is not given –"I take up the way of taking only what is freely given and giving freely of all that I can. "

  3. To refrain from sexual misconduct – "I take up the way of engaging in sexual intimacy respectfully and with an open heart ."

  4. To refrain from harmful speech – "I take up the way of speaking truthfully, of speaking of others with openness and possibility. I take up the way of letting go of anger. "

  5. To refrain from intoxicants that dull the mind – "I take up the way of cultivating a clear mind."


* the phrase ‘To refrain from’ is the classical formulation – the positive form is as given by Diane Eshin Rizzetto in her book ‘Waking up to what we do’ and is drawn from Zen practice.


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