Upāsaka Precepts: Recipe to Build a Compassionate Society

Phil Spitze
MA Independent Study Report
Prof. Tilak Kariyawasam

The goal of this independent study research project is to illustrate that the Upāsaka (lay person) Precepts are the perfect recipe with which to build a compassionate society. Through an examination of Early Buddhist writings, Buddhist cosmology, current events, and specific examples, this study will show how the application of these five fundamental precepts can solve or prevent the negative aspects found in most cultures around the world today. Readers of this study will come away with a clear understanding of how following a basic set of guidelines within a society can increase the level of compassion throughout that society and afford its citizens more freedom and happiness.