In its pure form, the life that each one of us lives is simple. We are born in this physical, mental and emotional structure , we live in it and then we leave it. Who is born, lives and leaves is what we truly are? But usually we identify with this structure and cannot really realise who we really are? It is difficult and it will take time. It takes 12 years for us to finish schooling and we are not perfect at the end of those 12 years. Similarly this is a process of learning, a process of evolution. We are all on the path.
This process, this path can be made easier if we have some guides. Like the guidebooks that makes things at school or college a bit easier to understand. Like a teacher who teaches us. Like our mother who taught us.
Buddhism has in its tradition, three vows: Pratimoksha, Bodhisattva and Samaya. In simple language, this means harmlessness, service and acceptance.
Harmlessness: We have to first adopt the attitude of not harming others. What this means is not to harm any life, respect what belongs to others and not try to take it, not harm others or yourself with your sexual energy, speak mind fully and protect the body and mind by not taking liquor, tobacco or drugs. There are some far advanced on the path who may not adopt these practices but they are far and few and for all practical purposes we need to follow these precepts externally as well as internally.
Service: This means to take care of others: not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Always try to help others as much as you can. This will help us evolve as we then realise that everything is interdependent
Acceptance: This means to embrace life as it is. Accept whatever comes into your life, good and bad, let it be and let it go. This is the most difficult practice of all but will help the most. Start of small and the the practices of harmlessness and service will also help acceptance.
Three words. Three commitments. Harmlessness, Service and Acceptance. Simple but not easy.