The Buddhist “Guidelines for Being a Good Person” was written by ancient Chinese sages. There will be eight parts to this study so if you have not yet subscribed to the column here please take a moment to do so. Just find the subscribe button near the author's photo at the author's website and click it, no spam will haunt your email we promise. Every time a part is published then it will automatically notify you in an email. The Buddhist “Guidelines for Being a Good Person” teaches us the standards for being a good human being.

In part 4 of the study Buddha has not forgotten that there are those of us who will try and get over on others that are not as cunning and deceptive as we might be. He warns us not to lie, cheat and talk about others. He says we are to be trustworthy. It is a true statement if we were to say that a good company brings good company and the bad company brings bad company. So we should keep that in mind every day.

Being trustworthy is not lying, it’s not talking bad about others behind their backs, it’s not gossip, nor is it talking about things we think we know about and really we don’t. A good example of what we should never do according to this guideline is talking about something we have heard from another person about something they might have heard on the TV news. Reason being is because it is useless chat, it does not concern us usually and usually until we see it for ourselves we will not get the whole truth.

The idle chat was talked about by this same Examiner sometime in early 2010. This guideline tells us we should not talk too much, too much talk can get a person into trouble, you can say things that are not true and that are hurtful to others. If we make promises to people that we are not 100% sure we can keep then we have broken this guideline. We should never make insincere promises. Number 1, a promise is something of the future.

For a Buddhist to live in the future before it is here is not living mindfully. And then we have just broken the 3rd guideline. Number 2, if we cannot keep the promise then we have just lied and that breaks this guideline. We should never lie, it’s not as hard as some might think when you get into a habit of not talking so much and not telling white lies, then you slowly train yourself to never tell a lie.

Lies do more than just make you look bad, they bring on bad karma for you, they hurt others and if you are a practicing Buddhist then you are bringing a bad repetition to your Sangha. The Sangha is your family; you should never do anything to bring shame to them. Follow these guidelines and you won’t have to worry about that:

Being Trustworthy

-When we speak, honesty counts the most. Deceit and lies are unacceptable.
-It is better to talk a little than chat too much. Tell the truth; do not speak insincerely.
-Cunning, deceptive speech and foul language should never be used. We should never conduct ourselves in an unruly manner.
-We should not readily talk about something we have not seen for it may not be the whole truth. We should not readily pass on to others what we do not know for sure.
-If someone asks us to do something and we are not sure whether it is appropriate, we should not carelessly promise. If we do promise to do something [and it is inappropriate], we will be wrong whether we keep or break our promise.
-When speaking, say each word unhurriedly, clearly, and correctly. Do not mumble or talk too fast.
-Some people like to gossip and comment about the faults or good points of others. But if something does not concern us, we should not get involved.
-When we see the goodness of others, we should encourage ourselves to learn from them. Even if we are far behind them, gradually we will achieve as they have.
-When we see the faults of others, we should reflect on our own behavior. If we have the same fault, correct it. If we do not have this fault, we should always be alert and not make the same mistake.
-When our morals, knowledge, and skills are not as good as those of others, we should encourage ourselves to try harder.
-If the clothes we wear and the food we eat are not as good as what others have, do not feel sad.
-If criticism makes us angry and compliments make us happy, we will attract the bad company, while good friends will leave us.
-If we are appreciative of criticism and uneasy with compliments, people who are virtuous, sincere, and trustworthy will gradually become our friends.
-If we accidentally make a mistake, it is only an error. But if we do it on purpose, it is definitely wrong.
-If we correct our faults and mistakes and do not repeat them, then they will cease. But if we try to cover them up, we will be doubly wrong.

Author's Bio: 

I am a published author and freelance writer with over 30 years experience. I have written for many high profile companies online including Yahoo! Inc.,,, and have done 1000’s of gigs for freelance writing for folks all over the planet. I’ve had pieces published in many high profile magazines such as The New Pioneer, American Frontiersman, Backwoodsman, American Survival Guide, and Self Reliance digital magazine. I currently am a feature writer for Athlon Outdoors Inc. where I write pieces for The New Pioneer, American Frontiersman, and Survivor’s Edge magazines. I write about things that benefit others, because, to me, this is the reason I exist, to help others and to be a truth bringer. Writing is poetry, it is powerful and has a way of uncovering darkness even in the darkest times. I specialize in all things, natural living. But I also write about Zen, Spirituality, homesteading, green and organic living, off-grid living, hiking the Appalachian Trail, prepping, survival and other subjects associated with these. If you are into these or subjects like these, follow me, you won’t be sorry. Find all my books here: