Abhaya-cariya (Fearless Conduct) – A Code of Buddhist Chivalry

  1. May my speech be ever pleasant, never harsh, belittling or disparaging, even in disagreement.
  2. May I never raise my voice in anger or irritation.
  3. May I protect and care for all living beings.
  4. May I refrain from consuming meat, milk and eggs.
  5. May I be a shield to the vulnerable and a friend to the downtrodden.
  6. May I confess my shortcomings, forgive all wrongs and seek forgiveness for any harm I have done.
  7. May I welcome adversity with joy, recognizing it as an unparalleled means for training the heart.
  8. May I seek out and wholeheartedly engage with situations and people that I find difficult and troublesome.
  9. May I not complain about or find fault with any situation or person.
  10. May I completely accept all criticism, knowing it is the result of my past kamma.
  11. May I bear heat, cold, hunger, insect bites and all pains as is befitting of a disciple of the Conqueror.
  12. May I give once a day as a practice of generosity, renunciation and compassion.
  13. May I give whatever is asked of me as long as it causes no harm.
  14. May I refrain from intentionally exposing myself to any media that inflame lust, hatred or delusion.
  15. May I restrain my gaze and allow it to fall only once upon any attractive forms.
  16. May I refrain from being alone with any marriageable persons who are not my partner.
  17. May I practice humility and modesty, concealing my virtues and practices from others.
  18. May I repay cruelty with kindness, miserliness with charity and ignorance with understanding.


  1. Good luck with these! I follow the Soto Zen Tradition. The main monastery is Shasta Abbey but I live in the UK where we have monasteries affiliated. Lay followers have a set of Ten Great Precepts we try and apply to our lives. Also the 3 Pure Precepts: Cease from causing harm, Do only good and Do Good for others!
    There is also a Theravada Forest Sangha monastery called Ratanagiri, (Harnham )30mins drive away which I sometimes visit. http://www.ratanagiri.org.uk

    • Thank Erik! I love Ajahn Munindo and I also sometimes practice with a Soto Zen group so am familiar with the 16 Bodhisattva precepts as well. Every good blessing to you!

  2. Small world! Have you met Ajahn Munindo? His book of talks, Unexpected Freedom, is on my list of best Buddhist Books! Metta, Eric

    • I have not yet had the pleasure but I have a new book on my list.

  3. Reading it at a time of emotional turmoil was a great solace.

  4. Hi Mike,
    These look great. Where are they from?
    With metta,

    • Ben,

      Largely from Bhante G’s Eight Lifetime Precepts although the others I have more or less made up for myself to help me work on the weaker areas of my practice. Thanks for taking the time to read them!

  5. […] Abhaya-cariya […]

  6. I’ve never seen this list of ethical conduct before. I believe I could take any one of them and make an intentional deepening practice of it on a daily basis. Any one of these aspirations support the Buddha’s teaching of abandoning harm, cultivating the good and purifying the mind. I think I’ll choose one and make a month’s practice of it. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thank you for your efforts. Sadhu sadhu sadhu!

    • I am humbled by your reply. Just a weird of caution: I came up with these to address my own weaknesses. As an unenlightened being it’s very possible that I may have gotten something wrong. Nonetheless, I’m glad you’ve found it helpful. Every good blessing to you.

  7. #15 is a form of sense restraint that I had not thought of before, and I believe it will help me free my mind from lust and desire. Thank you for sharing this wonderful code of conduct.

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