The 10 Positive and Negative Actions


The 10 Positive and Negative Actions

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Summary A guided contemplation and discussion of the ten positive and negative actions according to the Buddha.
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Guided contemplation: 10 positive and negative actions

This activity is featured in the Unit Plan on Cause and Effect.

We will now contemplate the ten positive actions and negative actions that we can do with our body, speech and mind. I will read them out loud and leave you some time to ask yourself what each one means, and how you think it could bring happiness or unhappiness. Go through each of the actions below. After mentioning one action pause and let students reflect on the following:

  • What does each one of these mean to me?
  • Do I think it would bring happiness to me and to others, if I choose to do the positive action and try to avoid the negative action as much as I can?


  1. Protecting the lives of animals and people, avoid killing and harming
  2. Practicing generosity, avoid stealing
  3. Respecting others and being loyal and faithful, avoid disrespecting 


  1. Telling the truth, avoid lying
  2. Reconciling disputes, avoid gossiping, criticizing or causing conflict
  3. Speaking pleasantly and kindly, avoid speaking harshly.
  4. Saying prayers and mantras and speak sincerely, avoid chatting idly 


  1. Learning to be generous, avoid wanting what others have
  2. Cultivating the wish to help others, avoid wishing them harm
  3. Developing wisdom and understanding, avoid ignorance and wrong views

From time to time encourage students to let go of thinking and to just rest and relax their minds for a few moments. And then start again with the reflection.

At the end : Encourage students to let go of any focus and to simply remain in the present moment. Dedicate the contemplation.

Photo by Bonnie Kittle

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