Through meditation we can discover the Truth directly for ourselves, therefore
it is the foundation of religious practice. It is to sit still with an open, alert and
bright mind, neither suppressing nor indulging the thoughts and feelings that
In meditation, one learns how to accept oneself and the world as it is. Profound
transformation becomes possible once we know things as they are.
If I believe I am separate from everyone else, then I act selfishly to get what I
want. If I know that within diversity, nothing is separate, then I already have all
I need, for I am One with all things. Meditation enables us to discover the real
nature of our own being.
Precepts are a description of enlightened action and serve as a guide. They
are never imposed, but may be undertaken freely by anyone who wishes.
I take refuge in the Buddha
(the source of the teaching).
I take refuge in the Dharma
(the Buddha's teaching).
I take refuge in the Sangha
(those who practise the teaching).
Three Pure Precepts
1. Cease from evil. By refraining from that which causes confusion and
suffering, the Truth will shine of itself.
2. Do only good. Doing good arises naturally from ceasing from evil.
3. Do good for others. To cease from evil is to devote one's life to the good of all
The Ten Precepts
1. Do not kill.
2. Do not steal.
3. Do not covet.
4. Do not say that which is not true.
5. Do not sell the wine of delusion (whether drink, drugs or the emotional
appeal of delusive thinking).
6. Do not speak against others.
7. Do not be proud of yourself and devalue others.
8. Do not be mean in giving Dharma (teaching) or wealth.
9. Do not be angry.
10. Do not defame the Three Treasures (do not deny the Buddha within
yourself or in others).
The final authority is wisdom born of the compassionate heart, but we should
develop the humility to check our understanding with the Buddha's teaching
(the Scriptures) and with the Sangha, the living community of those who follow
the Buddha's Way. We are all human and even the greatest teacher can make
a mistake; however, if the Precepts are taken seriously, they provide the
The Buddhist Precepts
Compassion is aroused when we realise we are One with all life. When we
realise that all things teach, we can accept them with gratitude. Meditation
embraces both the good and the bad without judgement. When we are touched
by the infinite compassion that is the foundation of all existence, the desire to
help all beings arises naturally. By understanding and embracing the darker
side of ourselves, we come to understand that the Precepts are our life blood;
and that to go against them causes suffering for ourselves and others.
Buddhism is not a fanatical religion. Our aim is to make the Buddha's
teaching available to all, but never to try to impose it upon others. Buddhism
does not claim an exclusive Truth; it is a way that has led many to the deepest
Portobello Buddhist Priory, a temple of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives
Zen Buddhism in Edinburgh, Scotland
All beings have the Buddha Nature
— Serene Reflection Meditation—
We can all learn to meditate because we all have the Buddha Nature, even
though it may be buried under much confusion. All beings are Buddhas and
should be respected as such, whatever manner of life they may be in.
Awakening the Heart of Gratitude and Compassion
The Buddha Shakyamuni lived 2,500 years ago in India. He was a human
being who possessed the same spiritual potential that is within us all. He
realised enlightenment and spent His life helping others find what He had
found. Enlightenment is the direct realisation of one's true nature and the
nature of all existence. It is the end of suffering and the awakening of
Since the time of the Buddha many schools of Buddhism have developed. The
aim of each has been to express the essence of the Buddha's teaching in a
manner appropriate to the time and culture.
The Serene Reflection Meditation School embodies:
1. The practice of meditation.
2. Keeping the moral Precepts of Buddhism, both in service to others and in
keeping faith with oneself.
3. The teaching that all beings have the Buddha Nature. All are fundamentally
pure; but out of ignorance we create suffering, thereby obscuring our real
4. Awakening the heart of compassion and expressing it through selfless
Portobello Buddhist Priory