Monk Chat: Buddhism’s core teachings

Planning on going to Monk Chat in Chiang Mai? Genning up on a few basic principle beforehand will help you get more out of the experience.

By | Mon 4 Feb 2019

Being an ancient city in a Buddhist country with many visitors curious about our customs, beliefs and traditions, Chiang Mai’s Monk Chat, founded in 2000, provides visitors with a unique opportunity for visitors to experience Buddhism by chatting with monks, asking questions about Buddhism, culture, tradition, ways of life of monks or simply meditating.

The Monk Chat Programme on behalf of Mahachulalongkornrajvidalaya Buddhist University, Chiang Mai Campus, welcomes all to visit and informally talk with monks.

In addition, Monk Chat also provides a Meditation Retreat Workshop (Concentration Meditation and Vipassana Meditation) which is the way to make the mind peaceful, and to develop transcendent insight which penetrates into the truth of life.

At Monk Chat, when foreigners come to chat with monks, often times monks are asked many interesting questions. One of the many interesting questions that is frequently asked is what is the core teaching in Buddhism? Or we are asked to summarise all the teachings so that it would be easier for foreigners to remember.

So, Today we would like to present the main teachings of the Buddha.

In Buddhism, the Buddha mentions three important principles that cover all of his teachings, which are at the heart of what people should follow in order to live happily and peacefully. The three core teaching are simply: To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to purify the mind.

1. To avoid all evil means avoiding various unwholesome courses of action:

  • Abstain from killing
  • Abstain from stealing or taking what is not given freely
  • Abstain from sexual misconduct
  • Abstain from false speech
  • Abstain from backbiting or slander
  • Abstain from harsh, rude, impolite, or abusive language
  • Abstain from frivolous, useless, idle talk or gossip
  • Abstain from covetousness; avariciousness
  • Abstain from ill will
  • Abstain from false views; wrong views.

2. To do good means to create meritorious actions:

  • Sharing or giving out merit
  • Rejoicing in others’ merit
  • Teaching the doctrine or showing the truth
  • Humility or reverence
  • Rendering service

3. To purify the mind by doing meditation:

  • To develop mental control through meditative practice
  • To practice right mindfulness we should do our best to be aware and attentive with regard to the activities of the body, the sensations, the mind and thoughts.

These are the core teachings in Buddhism which have been taught by the Lord Buddhaover 2,500 years ago. These teachings are not confined for only Buddhists, but anyone can follow and achieve a life of happiness and peace.