The Six Principles of Harmony – Abiding by the Same Precepts

When we live and practice together, we need to have rules and regulations for without them there will be disorder. Needless to say, the rules need to include the five fundamental precepts set by the Buddha. Rules vary for lay sanghas and those at way places. The former conforms to the five fundamental precepts, the latter to the monk or nun precepts. In addition, common rules, regulations and local laws and customs are also to be observed. These all comprise the Permanent Resident Agreement of a way place. One or two member can be designated to draft rules, which are then presented to the group for discussion and voting. Each individual living in the way place must abide by the agreement once it is set up. If every member respects and abides by the agreement, there will be no discord within the group, because all have equal status and no special privileges are granted to anyone. Thus, the sangha is truly democratic and law abiding.

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