26 Principles of Buddhist Psychology

1. See the inner nobility and beauty of all human beings.

2. Compassion is our deepest nature. It arises from our interconnection with all things.

3. When we shift attention from experience to the spacious consciousness that knows, wisdom arises.

4. Recognise the mental states that fill consciousness. Shift from unhealthy states to healthy ones.

5. Our ideas of self are created by identification. The less we cling to ideas of self, the freer and happier we will be.

6. Our life has universal and personal nature. Both dimensions must be respected if we are to be happy and free.

7. Mindful attention to any experience is liberating. Mindfulness brings perspective, balance and freedom.

8. Mindfulness of the body allows us to live fully. It brings healing, wisdom and freedom.

9. Wisdom knows what feelings are present without being lost in them.

10. Thoughts are often one-sided and untrue. Learn to be mindful of thought instead of being lost in it.

11. There is a personal and a universal unconscious. Turning awareness to the unconscious brings understanding and freedom.

12. The unhealthy patterns of our personality can be recognised and transformed into a healthy expression of our natural temperament.

13. There are both healthy desires and unhealthy desires. Know the difference. Then find freedom in their midst.

14. If we cling to anger or hatred, we will suffer. It is possible to respond strongly, wisely and compassionately, without hatred.

15. Delusion misunderstands the world and forgets who we are. Delusion gives rise to all unhealthy states. Free yourself from delusion and see with wisdom.

16. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is not. Suffering arises from grasping. Release grasping and be free of suffering.

17. Be mindful of intention. Intention is the seed that creates our future.

18. What we repeatedly visualise changes our body and consciousness. Visualise freedom and compassion.

19. What we repeatedly think shapes our world. Out of compassion, substitute healthy thoughts for unhealthy ones.

20. The power of concentration can be developed through inner training. Concentration opens consciousness to profound dimensions of healing and understanding.

21. Virtue and integrity are necessary for genuine happiness. Guard your integrity with care.

22. Forgiveness is both necessary and possible. It is never too late to find forgiveness and start again.

23. There is no separation between inner and outer, self and other. Tending ourselves, we tend the world. Tending the world, we tend ourselves.

24. The middle way is found between all opposites. Rest in the middle and find well-being wherever you are.

25. Release opinions, free yourself from views. Be open to mystery.

26. A peaceful heart gives birth to love. When love meets suffering, it turns to compassion. When love meets happiness, it turns to joy.

– from The Wise Heart, Jack Kornfield