The Five Mindfulness Trainings
The Five Mindfulness Trainings have their root in Five Precepts offered by the Buddha. They have been expanded and updated so that they represent a way to bring mindfulness into every area of life. Rather than hard and fast rules, they offer as a framework to reflect on our actions, speech and thinking so we can create more happiness for ourselves and for the world around us.
The Five Mindfulness Trainings (5MT) are one of the most concrete ways to practice mindfulness. They are nonsectarian, and their nature is universal. They are true practices of compassion and understanding. All spiritual traditions have their equivalent to the Five Mindfulness Trainings. The first training is to protect life, to decrease violence in oneself, in the family and in society. The second training is to practice social justice, generosity, not stealing and not exploiting other living beings. The third is the practice of responsible sexual behavior in order to protect individuals, couples, families and children. The fourth is the practice of deep listening and loving speech to restore communication and reconcile. The fifth is about mindful consumption, to help us not bring toxins and poisons into our body or mind. The Five Mindfulness Trainings are based on the precepts developed during the time of the Buddha to be the foundation of practice for the entire lay practice community. I have translated these precepts for modern times, because mindfulness is at the foundation of each one of them. With mindfulness, we are aware of what is going on in our bodies, our feelings, our minds and the world, and we avoid doing harm to ourselves and others. Mindfulness protects us, our families and our society. When we are mindful, we can see that by refraining from doing one thing, we can prevent another thing from happening. We arrive at our own unique insight. It is not something imposed on us by an outside authority. Practicing the mindfulness trainings, therefore, helps us be more calm and concentrated, and brings more insight and enlightenment. Thich Nhat Hanh, Happiness: Essential Mindfulness Practices (2009)
you don’t need to be a Buddhist in order to receive the transmission of the 5MT