The basic rules of conduct ―not killing, not stealing, being very careful and responsible in our sexual conduct, having ethical speech and not destroying our minds through drugs and alcohol– these are eternal rules of conduct.
If we want to pour in the elixir of the Dharma, we have to have something to support it, we have to have something to contain it, so that it doesn’t just run everywhere and get wasted. Likewise, for our spiritual cultivation we need a container, and this is our basic ethical conduct.
We must live in this world in such a way that all beings know they have nothing to fear from us, because we are not going to hurt them, we are not going to steal from them, we are not going to misuse them, we are not going to cheat them. They are safe with us and we are also safe with ourselves, because we know, we are not going to do these things, because we have promised ourselves and the Buddhas not to do that.