The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings

11 Comments April 6, 2010 / Posted in Meditation, Mindfulness

You will want to visit the website of The Community of Mindful Living (CML). Below are the 14 Mindful Trainings which guide the Community.

Located just north of San Diego is one of the CML’s Retreat Centers: Deer Park
Under their Mindful Practice you will find a series of short reflections that are very helpful in all aspects of being mindful.

Mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake to the present moment. It is the continuous practice of touching life deeply in every moment of daily life. To be mindful is to be truly alive and present with those around you and with what you are doing. We bring our body and mind into harmony while we wash the dishes, drive the car or take our morning cup of tea.


Here is a short biography of Thich Nhat Hanh on the Deer Park website.

The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings Introduction
(from Interbeing by Thich Nhat Hanh)

1. 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, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 right of others to be different and to choose what to believe and how to decide. We will, however, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness through practicing deeply and engaging in compassionate dialogue.

4. 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.

5. 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 using alcohol, drugs, or any other products that bring toxins into our own and the collective body and consciousness.

6. 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 ourselves and at those we think are the cause of our anger.

7. 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 in 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.

8. The Eighth Mindfulness Training: Community and Communication
Aware that 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.

9. 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 and confidence. We are determined not to say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people, nor to utter words that might cause division or hatred. We will not spread news that we do not know to be certain nor 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.

10. The Tenth Mindfulness Training: Protecting the Sangha
Aware that the essence and aim of a Sangha is the practice of understanding and compassion, we are determined not to use the Buddhist community for personal gain or profit or transform our community 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.

11. 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 supporting companies that deprive others of their chance to live.

12. 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 within 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 Sangha to discover better ways to protect life and prevent war.

13. 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 people, animals, plants, and minerals. 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 other beings.

14. The Fourteenth Mindfulness Training: Right Conduct
(For lay members): 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 and commitments of ourselves and others. We will do everything in our power to protect children from sexual abuse and to protect couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct. We will treat our bodies with respect and preserve our vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization of our bodhisattva ideal. 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.

(For monastic members): Aware that the aspiration of a monk or a nun can only be realized when he or she wholly leaves behind the bonds of worldly love, we are committed to practicing chastity and to helping others protect themselves. We are aware that loneliness and suffering cannot be alleviated by the coming together of two bodies in a sexual relationship, but by the practice of true understanding and compassion. We know that a sexual relationship will destroy our life as a monk or a nun, will prevent us from realizing our ideal of serving living beings, and will harm others. We are determined not to suppress or mistreat our body or to look upon our body as only an instrument, but to learn to handle our body with respect. We are determined to preserve vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization of our bodhisattva ideal

11 Comments... What do you think? Subscribe via RSS
  1. Gethen Baker said on April 7th, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Thich Nhat Hanh has been a Buddhist teacher of mine for nine years. I have flourished and completely transformed because of his translations of the Buddha to Western civilization. Mindfulness is key to living each moment happily and at total peace, no matter what circumstances arise. Work with his teachings, he has written several books, and practice them diligently and see the transformations happen before your very eyes! Thank you Thich Nhat Hanh for all you are presently in this world. Love and Light. Om Ma Ni Padme Hum.

  2. Ozzie Gontang said on April 9th, 2010 at 3:01 am

    This is a reflection from Janet Warfield on What is Mindfulness? on the Mindfulness LinkedIn group:

    What is Mindfulness Anyway?

    To me, mindfulness is simply in-the-moment awareness and choice.

    It’s about knowing myself and shifting my focus from what’s “out there” to what’s “in here.” Noticing my thoughts, noticing my emotions, choosing the ones I want, and taking the necessary action steps to make them happen. When I learn how to be mindful in my own life, I then know how to be mindful of others.

    What’s “out there” doesn’t change. What changes is what our minds and emotions do with what’s “out there.” It’s just like looking at an optical illusion. Once we understand the different ways our minds can organize what’s “out there”, each of us can choose what we want to see, what thoughts we want in our heads, what emotions we want in our hearts, and bring them into our lives.

    More food for thought and discussion in Linda S. Thompson’s interview of Janet Smith Warfield on The Author’s Show, .

  3. María de los Angeles Arancibia said on November 23rd, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Es la voz del nuevo paradigma que nos despierta al presente. A la vida simple hecha de momentos. Busca la sanidad mental ,corporal y espiritual en el individuo para transformar la sociedad actual en una más justa, generosa y feliz. En la medida que regalamos nuestros talentos y tiempo a la comunidad crece en nosotros un estado de plenitud que beneficia al sujeto y al objeto .Vivir conscientes es vivir en el presente y saber que lo que entregamos es lo que recibimos en una ecuación que lleva a la felicidad

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  8. Five ways to live in the present | Effortless Abundance said on February 5th, 2011 at 11:23 am

    […] There is only now. There is no past and no future. This truth is so obvious that, when one comes to understand it, one wonders why it was not grasped before. There is something utterly wonderful about the present moment. Suffering comes from ideas about reality to which reality does not, in fact, conform. And so, in the present moment, a great happiness can emerge. When one truly abides in the moment, not desiring to change reality, a kind of pure joy becomes manifest, and it is from this condition that all our creative energy grows. From this place of acceptance and love, the ability to manifest emerges. From a place of present moment awareness comes all the creativity and spontaneity which gives intentions the propulsion they need to become manifest. Once we understand the different ways our minds can organize what’s “out there”, each of us can choose what we want to see, what thoughts we want in our heads, what emotions we want in our hearts, and bring them into our lives. ( […]

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