1. Create powerful causes for happiness by holding the Three Rare Sublime Ones supreme, make offerings to them and so forth.
2. Seek and practice a pure method that offers protection from suffering.
3. Repay the kindness of parents by respectfully taking care of them.
4. Recognize those with positive qualities and knowledge as eminent, and honor them as foremost.
5. Serve and honour those who are senior to you in status or in age.
6. Let your loyalty to friends and relatives be enduring; never cast aside the closeness you feel for them in favour of the fickle pursuit of new friendships.
7. As much as you are able, do what is useful for your compatriots, neighbors and the destitute.
8. Have a sincere and stable attitude, not going along with everything that others might say.
9. Emulate the conduct of those of good character.
10. Know how to enjoy food and wealth without being too extreme.
11. Do not forget those who have been kind to you, and in return, do what benefits them according to your capacity.
12. Avoid being dishonest in the use of weights and measures and so forth.
13. Free of feeling close to some and distant from others, be even-minded to all and give up the jealousy that finds the good fortune of others unbearable.
14. Do not fall under the influence of someone who acts with a pretentious or concealing mind or who is a bad friend.
15. Be gentle in your speech and wise in saying that which is suitable to others’ minds.
16. Bear hardships in spiritual and secular matters with a mind that takes great responsibility while remaining expansive and at ease.
This presentation of the 16 Human Dharmas was made by Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche in Autumn 2012, in Aptos, California, based on Tibetan texts, with minor edits by Ven. Stephen Carlier, Jonathan Landaw and Karuna Cayton.
The Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom (FDCW) provides programs and workshops based on a system of inner learning, including an internationally successful 16 Guidelines workshop program. Building Inner Strength, a FDWC discussion group guide, is also now available for download as free PDF.