Bodhisattva Ideal: Mahayana emphasizes the Bodhisattva ideal, which is the aspiration to attain Buddhahood not only for one’s own liberation but also for the benefit of all sentient beings. We are encouraged to cultivate a compassionate and altruistic attitude in our daily lives, striving to help others on their spiritual paths.
Compassion and Loving-Kindness: Compassion and loving-kindness are central virtues in Mahayana ethics. They support us in developing a deep sense of empathy and compassion for all living beings, extending love and kindness to everyone we encounter.
Generosity: Generosity is a fundamental practice in Mahayana ethics. We are encouraged to give to the needy, support monastic communities, and engage in acts of kindness without expectation of personal gain. Giving is seen as a means of accumulating positive karma and reducing selfishness.
Ethical Conduct: We are expected to adhere to ethical guidelines, which include abstaining from actions that harm others, such as killing, stealing, lying, engaging in sexual practices that deceive or exploit and using various intoxicants, including alcohol, drugs, and other substances that impair judgment.
Mindfulness and Meditation: We are encouraged to cultivate mindfulness in our daily lives, being aware of our thoughts, speech, and actions to cultivate mental clarity, concentration, and insight.
Respect for the Triple Gem: We are encouraged to take refuge in the Triple Gem, which consists of the Buddha (the teacher), the Dharma (the teachings), and the Sangha (the monastic community).
Seeking Spiritual Guidance: We may seek guidance and teachings from qualified teachers, attending lectures and participating in ceremonies at Buddhist temples and monasteries.
Engagement in Compassionate Activities: Buddhists may engage in various forms of compassionate activities, such as volunteering, supporting charitable causes, and helping those in need. Engaging in acts of service is seen as a way to live out the Bodhisattva ideal.
Mindful Consumption: Buddhists are encouraged to be mindful of their consumption choices, including what they eat and how they acquire their possessions. Avoiding harmful and wasteful consumption is considered an ethical practice.
Cultivation of Wisdom: While ethical conduct and compassion are essential, Mahayana also emphasizes the importance of wisdom (prajna). The Buddhist scriptures and teachings inspire us to deepen our understanding of the Dharma.