I would like some rules in the form of dos & don'ts to ensure happiness & eradication of miseries for making life calm & serene.

4 Answers 4


The don'ts:

Buddhism teaches ten kinds of unskilful action the serious lay Buddhist to refrain from, namely:

  1. Killing.

  2. Stealing

  3. Unwholesome (uncaring) sex

  4. Dishonest speech

  5. Harsh speech

  6. Divisive speech

  7. Frivolous speech

  8. Greed

  9. Hatred

  10. Selfishness & ungratefulness (delusion).

To this add avoiding the roads to ruin (DN 31), namely:

  1. Addiction to drugs & alcohol

  2. Gambling

  3. Nightlife/nightclubbing

  4. Addiction to sensual entertainment

  5. Bad friends

  6. Chronically laziness.

Add to this:

  1. Avoid borrowing money leading to living beyond your means (AN 4.62).

The dos:

  1. The opposite of the above.

  2. Safeguard your social relationships in the 'six directions' (DN 31).

  3. Practise friendliness, compassion, appreciation for goodness & equanimity.

  4. Engage in wholesome pleasures, such as exercise, sports, outdoors nature, arts, contemplative music, charity work, generosity, meditation. etc.

The entire list is here: https://www.mahidol.ac.th/budsir/Contents.html

  • Not sure why you say nightlife is "road to ruin". It's a massive generalisation. It's entirely up to the individual. I see no harm in going out and having fun dancing with friends occasionally. I think it's very healthy to let ones hair down every now and then.
    – Arturia
    Jul 26, 2017 at 13:14
  • 1
    @Arturia It's a paraphrase of DN 31 which is taken as the Buddha's advice to laypeople (householders).
    – ChrisW
    Jul 26, 2017 at 13:26
  • How can i fight laziness ?
    – breath
    Jul 27, 2017 at 16:47
  • These rules are quite good. Will they help you to gain acceptance with God? If you follow all these beautiful rules will be right with God? What will happen to all the bad things that one has done before starting to practice these good rules?
    Jul 27, 2017 at 19:52
  • For #10 under the don't's, can you elaborate on why is selfishness and ungratefulness delusion?
    – NuWin
    Jul 27, 2017 at 21:58

Observing the "five precepts" is the starting point.

The five precepts are the "don't do" things (the things to avoid). Then you have to practice things to do -- I ask people in my meditation group not only to observe the five precepts but also practice the opposite. That is:

  1. Killing vs loving kindness
  2. Stealing vs generosity
  3. Inappropriate sex vs refrain
  4. Lying vs telling the truth
  5. Alcohol vs practicing mindfulness

Shamelessly stolen from Dhammadhatu's great answer:

Practise friendliness, compassion, appreciation for goodness & equanimity.

In my personal experience, this is really the make-or-break-factor. It is the one thing which you can positively, actively influence daily, nay, in each moment. It needs no study of any text or "rules".

It can often be very easy, but sometimes very hard, which means you can often practise it, and sometimes learn very much from it.

This includes being nice to your enemies, loving people who would be hated by others, appreciating things other people do which would otherwise seem unappreciable to you, and so on. All of these things are not obvious if you really think them through, but they are possible.

It is very important that what you do to achieve this goal is not running around with a constant insincere smile, but the feelings expressed above need to be real. You need to really see what is good about someone who seemingly is "out to get you", or someone who is "stupid", and so on. This is the hard part, which will lead to your personal development. But it is noticeable.

There is some quote about Marilyn Monroe, visiting some GIs in Vietnam, where some guys said that she had such an overwhelming presence not because she was beautiful, a goddess even, but because she sincerly made everyone feel liked and "on the same level". That's the kind of quality you're looking for.

Another example would be if you were to be attacked - your goal would be to be able to defend from attacks, but in a way that really is good for the attacker. You would not want to "break" or kill your attacker. But you would also try, while "winning" decisively, to leave him with his honor intact, or, better yet, find ways so that you both can win and there is no loser at all.

Equanimity obviously entails that you keep your calm in difficult situations, and not only by suppressing your anger, but by really letting the stressfull things "pass through" without letting them harm you. There is a lot of mind work you can do to achieve that.


Thank you for your deeply thought out question. I have been looking at the Buddhist Stack site for a little while, and I notice some real similarities in the way many of the questions are formed. So, first , it is good to study, by which I mean get a perspective of the landscape, in this case the Buddha's Dharma. Think for yourself. If someone tells you to jump of a cliff, you probably will not, Thank God, for that.So , when this hypothetical person told you to jump , what happened? you had an insight that there would probably be a bad result. So, the Buddha was quoted as saying do not believe any think he tells you , until you have tested the truth of that saying and the possible benefit of that idea for you to apply. So, much for that , for now. So you study, then you get the big picture and you actually start to see how using your mind in a certain way is much more beneficial that using your mind in another way. This is the beginning of good judgement. So, Here's the biggie. Cease to do Evil, Learn to do Good, remove all defilements , follow this way to Compete, total, supreme Enlightenment. So, How do I stop doing evil, well , let's start on the simplest level. What if you determine that to get really frustrated and angry and nervous about what just happened to you is not good. So , then , you go to a quiet place or find some friends and calm down. This is ceasing to do evil and learning to do good.So now, you might have gotten a little , "good idea" . If you keep doing this , with all your experiences, you will learn to relax, and better still , you will say. "Oh, I am relaxed now, that is better that going crazy." What if I start to develop some real concentration. I bet I could do this even better, and maybe, just maybe, I could help someone else learn to become happier, too. And so on. Of course there is much more. Good Luck.

  • Oh, I forgot to say, I personally think there is studying about such and such, and then actually studying within the method. Do you understand what I just wrote? We might become familiar with Politics and , at first this is overwhelmingly complicated. But then, we keep learning, and then we might see , oh, there are this many different view about politics. We keep studying, and then we meet some one and the give us a really good idea. Oh, I never heard of that kind of politics, Oh, you mean there was a previous first amendment that our Founding Fathers wanted us to use?
    – Pasquale
    Aug 2, 2017 at 1:18
  • Oh, the after some time you learn of all the ways people could live. You start to become an expert, and you speak with other experts, then you see some people like this , other like that. But why? Then you learn more. So with Dharma, you can study like this, but then some day, you have to decide, "is this way helping me ?" How can I be happy, and help other people become happy? Then you start to really study. Some day , you might become so Wise, you can start your own Country. Good Luck.
    – Pasquale
    Aug 2, 2017 at 1:21

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