“Six Ethics of the Mind”: Ten years of cultivation to help uplift the human character

In 2007, Master Sheng-Yen proposed campaigns on the “Six Ethics of the Mind” to herald in a new era.

Focusing on the protection of the spiritual environment, the campaign encompasses six domains: family, life, school, environment, workplace as well as ethnic groups.

For the past ten years, in close collaboration with the Dharma Drum Fellowship system and its branching monasteries, the DDM Humanities and Social Improvement Foundation (HSIF) has developed multiple ways to vigorously promote the “Six Ethics of the Mind Campaign”, adapting to social dynamics and changes. Here, the DDM takes pleasure in sharing with you, all the efforts made over the years and, the aspiration to promote the “Six Ethics of the Mind” in the future.

“Good fortune follows naturally through diligent practice of the "Six Ethics of the Mind.” Following Master Sheng-Yen’s proposal of the “Six Ethics of the Mind” in 2007, the DDM Humanities and Social Improvement Foundation formally introduced the “Six Ethics of the Mind” to the public at the end of the year by launching a publicity campaign themed “Initiating the Six Ethics of the Mind to uplift human character”. This campaign was held at Xin Yi Square in Taipei.

In order to widely propagate the “Six Ethics of the Mind” and to fulfill Master Sheng-Yen’s vow of compassion, a multi-prong approach was used for the campaign to take root in society; led by Ven. Guo Dong and Shen-Yi Lee, DDM HSIF’s secretary general, the foundation invited well-known people to act as spokesperson, organized a series of forums, lectures, training activities, camps, drama, broadcasting programs, and publications. It is hoped that, through these campaign, values derived from the “Six Ethics of the Mind” would be adopted as an ethical way of life.

Gathering insights from all walks of life to promote and expound on the Six Ethics of the Mind”

The promotion team for the “Six Ethics of the Mind” was established in 2008 and has trained about one hundred teachers through its well-organized courses as well as integrated training programs. These teachers, known as “seed-teachers”, actively promote the “Six Ethics of the Mind” through lectures, relevant activities and programs, as well as drama performances; in addition, these teachers have been invited to schools, the public sectors, and various organizations to give talks and to share ideas since 2011.

Most notably, in corporation with the Ministry of Justice on the “Life Education Project”, these teachers delivered over five hundred speeches. In 2004, HSIF designed the “Blue Ocean Of the Mind Strategy” courses in response to a range of social problems, such as the food safety issue; these courses received approval from the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corporation (TWSE) and the Taipei Exchange (TPEx) a year later to be incorporated into advanced courses taken by accounts directors and officers in companies listed at the stock exchange as well as over-the-counter market. This is a significant achievement by the promotion team; not only is it possible to promote the “Six Ethics of the Mind” to the business community, but the bridging of protecting the spiritual environment, workplace ethics and corporate social responsibility could potentially foster a deeper understanding between the business community and the general public, which in turn lead to greater peace.

Over the years, HSIF disseminated the “Six Ethics of the Mind” through various seminars and forum; since June 30, 2007, Master Sheng-Yen conducted dialogues on the “Six Ethics of the Mind” with public figures from all disciplines, such as Chien Fredrick Fu , Stan Shih, Chung-Laung Liu, and Su-Fen Chang. In addition, Ven. Guo Dong, Abbot President of DDM, Ven. Hui-Min, President of Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts, Jet Li, Stanley Yen, Hwai-Ey Chen, and Po-Lin Chi contributed their professional view and perspectives on ways to improve the social climate through implementation of ethical principles.

Multi-prong approach to promote the “Six Ethics of the Mind”; meeting society’s needs

As changes in society take roots, it is inevitable that the needs of community changes as well; in response to these changes, HSIF set up “Theatres of the Mind” program in 2009. Creative courses were developed through art creative tours, providing solid experiences for students to develop a benevolent mind and in turn, find happiness. In cooperation with the Anhe Branch Monastery, the “Happy Marriage Sharing Program” invited couples who had Buddhist weddings to return for a “recharge” as well as to promote and practice family ethics. The concept of family, life, and ethnic ethics is deepened by the “Happy Kitchen Program”, that also provides cooking and soap-making classes to new immigrants and students from remote area. In regards to school ethics, the “Go to school and plant an herb” program employed teachers well-versed in botany to plant suitable herbs in the courtyard of elementary schools; it is hoped that students could learn from life and show gratitude to the earth.

Ethics is the most important value of the current society; the “Six Ethics of the Mind” is an unparalleled method to promote a harmonious society. DDM’s promotion of the “Six Ethics of the Mind” has received positive feedback from all walks of life. This includes recognition from the National Public Service Award and the Social Education Public Service Award from the Ministry of Education. By examining the change in society, Shen-Yi Lee, secretary general of HSIF, envisaged that in addition to integrating the different areas of expertise and resources to Buddhist practices, the Six Ethics campaign has great depth in its promotional quality to uplift the human character. He also encourages the public to jointly promote the “Six Ethics of the Mind” to help uplift the human character and establish a pure land on earth.

Li-Chuan Chang (張麗君)
Director, Dharma Drum Mountain Humanities and Social Improvement Foundation (法鼓山人文社會基金會主任)

Chih-Mei Lin (林知美)
Team Leader, Promotion Team for the “Six Ethics of the Mind” (心六倫宣講團團長)

DDM Editorial Team

Christine Huang (Canada)
Leefah Thong (Malaysia)

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