Participatory Contemplative Spirituality is where practitioners bring their practice, wisdom, and insights from contemplation and wisdom teachings, into the real world situations of social, political, environmental and economic suffering and injustice. They bring compassion, a peaceful heart and pragmatic solutions to issues out there in the world. These principles are relevant for anyone who wants to make a positive and sacred impact on the world and wants to live mindfully, and ethically.
By developing peace and serenity through ethical and conscientious living, we can help our society make the transition from one based on greed and consumerism to one in which thoughtfulness and compassionate action are of the deepest value. The fourteen precepts are:
Humility: Do not be idolatrous about any doctrine, theory, belief, or ideology, even Christian ones. Christian systems of thought or belief are guiding means, a pathway rather than a destination.
Lifelong Learning: Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, complete, and absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. Be open to the Holy Spirit and practice childlike humility, demonstrating curiosity about others’ viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.
Gentleness: Do no force others, including children, by any means whatsoever to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education. However, through compassionate dialogue, help other renounce fanaticism and narrow-mindedness, and be ready to gently and humbly share what gives you life whenever it is appropriate.
Compassion: Do not avoid suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering and to be an agent of comfort and healing. Awaken yourself and other to the reality of suffering in the world. And do the same regarding joy, so you can weep with those who weep and replace with those who rejoice.
Generosity: Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Do not take as the aim of your life fame, profit, wealth, or sensual pleasure. Live simply and share time, energy, opportunity, and material resources with those who are in need.
Love: Do not maintain anger or hatred. Learn to penetrate and transform them when they are still seeds in your consciousness. As soon as they arise, turn your heart toward God in order to see and understand the nature of your hatred, so it will not be translated into word or deed. Make love your highest goal.
Serenity: Do not lose yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings. Dwell in the presence and peace of God to come back to what is happening in the present moment. Be in touch with what is wondrous, refreshing, and healing both inside and around you. Plant seeds of joy, peace, and understanding in yourself in order to facilitate the work of transformation in the depths of your consciousness.
Reconciliation: Be careful with your words. Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break. Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.
Communications: Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people. Do not utter words that cause division and hatred. Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain. Do not criticize or condemn things of which you are not sure. Always speak truthfully and constructively. Have the courage to speak about situation of injustice, even when doing so may threaten your own safety.
Justice: Do not use your faith community for personal gain or profit, or politicize it for partisan ends. A faith community, however, should take a clear stand against oppression and injustice and should strive to change unjust and unhealthy situation without being manipulated or controlled by outside forces or interests.
Vocation: Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their chance to live. Select a vocation that helps realize your ideal of compassion.
Nonviolence: Do not kill and do not harm, and do not stand by when others seek to do so. Find creative, just, and nonviolent ways to prevent or end conflicts and to promote and strengthen peace.
Property: Possess nothing that should belong to others. Respect the property of others, but prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other species on Earth.
Body: Do not mistreat your body. Learn to treat it with respect. Practice self-control. Sexual expression should not take place without love and corresponding commitment. In sexual relations, be aware of future suffering that may be caused. To preserve the happiness of others, respect the right s and commitments of others. Be fully aware of the responsibility of bringing new lives into the world. Be aware of the ways your body connects you to all creation, and be grateful for every meal, every heartbeat, and every breath.