The Twelve Principles



Bodhidaoism is a worldview and way of life that seeks to guide people in living wisely with peace of mind in a world without a personal God, the supernatural, or an immortal soul. It is a “way of awakening” which incorporates insights from Humanism, Buddhism, Daoism, Stoicism, and psychology into a philosophy of life for the 21st century.


Identifying as a Bodhidaoist means accepting the Twelve Principles and making a personal commitment to yourself to live according to them. Bodhidaoism is a personal path without clergy, church, or scripture.



  1. I adopt the Twelve Principles of Bodhidaoism as the foundation upon which I will build my philosophy of life, and I will identify as a Bodhidaoist only as long as I hold to these Twelve Principles.
  2. I hold that evidence is my ultimate authority, for it tells me that a claim corresponds to reality and is therefore probably true, being confirmed by its coherence and consequences.
  3. I hold that science is the most reliable means of knowing the natural world.
  4. I confirm that I do not believe in a personal God, the supernatural, or an immortal soul.
  5. I hold that there is one interdependent and impermanent reality manifest in two modes, mental and physical.
  6. I dedicate myself to learning from the wisdom traditions of Humanism, Buddhism, Daoism, and Stoicism, and from the relevant sciences.
  7. I hold that life and Nature are sacred, and I will do my best to protect both.
  8. My first goal is to develop the virtue of wisdom, that I may have perspective, insight, and discernment into the true nature of reality, and thereby make good decisions.
  9. My second goal is to develop the virtue of love, that I may seek the highest good of all beings in thought, word, and deed, without prejudice or bias.
  10. My third goal is to develop the virtue of courage, that I may patiently face the challenges of life, with its pain, loss, danger, impermanence, and uncertainty.
  11. My fourth goal is to develop the virtue of balance, that I may be healthy in body and tranquil in mind, learning to flow with the rhythms of life.
  12. I commit to create for myself a rule of life which will guide my self-cultivation, and which will include practices such as sagecraft, affirmations, critical thinking, meditation, compassion, active listening, solitude, simplicity, and Nature immersion.



The Twelve Principles supersedes all other declarations and statements, and is effective as of January 18, 2021. Copyright © 2021 by Jay N. Forrest. All Rights Reserved.


NOTE: Bodhidaoism is pronounced: Bo-dee-DOW-ism


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