The 5 Precepts and Antiracism

Common Ground Community Discussion on Using the 5 Precepts to Support Anti-Racism

About 20 community members, led by facilitators Shelly Graf and Nora Murphy, met on Sunday March 5th to begin developing collective wisdom around using the 5 precepts as supports for actively practicing anti-racism in our lives, our community, and our society. Below are starting point suggestions that the participants identified. These are not exhaustive! We share them to inspire and remind us that ending suffering around racism can begin through our practice of sila.


I undertake the training to refrain from harming any living being.

+ We have consumer power and can choose where and what we purchase.

+ We can educate ourselves about the racial equity policies of the stores we support.

+ We can examine our own racist thoughts, words, and action.

+ We can look even deeper and examine the ‘why’ motivating these thoughts.

+ We can remember that at our deepest core, the awakened heart is not racist.

+ We can practice not harming ourselves.

+ We can watch for self-judgement, which can lead to judging others.


I undertake the training to refrain from taking what has not been offered.

+ We can buy local foods, or from farmer markets and support those who are raising food.

+ We can educate others in ways that doesn’t alienate, and allow them to feel responsible

and empowered.

+ We can divest from financial institutions that take advantage of people and communities.

+ We can use resources wisely.

+ We can use voices and votes for the benefit of all.


I undertake the training to refrain from sexual misconduct.

+ We can acknowledge and challenge racially sexualized stereotypes.

+ We can look at how we form our identities, such as whiteness, including processes like

categorizing, binary thinking (good/bad, right/wrong), and objectifying.

+ We can acknowledge and challenge patterns of harm, such as sexual assaults of Native

women by white men, which happen at a much greater rate than for white women.


I undertake the training to refrain from false speech.

+ We can challenge the ‘default’ of whiteness in our language, eg White as the unspoken

norm in our society when we are speaking and describing people.

+ We can model respectful ways of addressing, eg: “I’m Alice, I prefer to be addressed as

a Ms.. My preferred pronounces are she and her.” Or we can ask a person how

she/she/they would prefer to be addressed.


I undertake the training to abstain from using substances that cloud the mind/heart.

+ We can acknowledge and challenge the intoxicant of consuming mainstream media

which reflects and validates the Hetero Normative White Middle Class community.

+ We can ask for and demand People of Color in shows playing roles that are not


+ We can engage in media that directly speaks to other’s experiences and share what we

find with others.

+ We can be local and support local art and social media instead of Hollywood.


May my conduct conduce to attainment of the highest fruits of liberation.

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