Precepts and Observances

The life at Cittaviveka is held within an ethical framework, which visitors and guests are expected to follow while they are here. This centres on the Eight Precepts:

The Eight Precepts

  1. Harmlessness: not intentionally taking the life of any living creature
  2. Trustworthiness: not taking anything that is not given
  3. Celibacy: refraining from any sexual activity
  4. Veracity: avoiding false, abusive or malicious speech
  5. Sobriety: not taking any intoxicating drink or drug
  6. Renunciation: not eating after mid-day
  7. Restraint: refraining from games and attending shows, and from self-adornment. (Guests are asked to dress modestly, and not to play radios, musical tapes or instruments)
  8. Alertness: to refrain from over-indulgence in sleep

These precepts are intended to moderate our outgoing tendencies, to heighten the sense of conscience and concern for others, and to encourage alertness. There are also a range of observances around maintaining quiet in the House, using the lodgings and requisites with care, and dressing in a simple way. These also help to check casual or half-aware actions that we may carry out daily without really questioning them. Precepts and observances therefore form a framework for contemplation, a guide to cultivating heart and mind, and a means for daily-life Awakening. The Guest Monk or Nun can advise you on the basic standards.