Good in the beginning. Good in the middle. Good in the end.

A Better Way to Approach Doing Anything Using What Buddhists Call The Three Noble Principles:

The Three Noble Principles

     Good in the beginning.
     Good in the middle.
     Good in the end.

You don’t have to be Buddhist to use this enriching spiritual practice as a way to create moments that are both meaningful to yourself and healing to others. Use this approach with any activity: meditation, meals, business meetings, art project or taking a trip.

Dedicate, in a sacred way, any ordinary activity in order to benefit all mankind!

For example, say you’ve set aside two hours on Saturday morning to clean up a designated area of your backyard: pruning, weeding, raking. Perhaps you’ve put this chore off too long, dread it and have other things you’d rather be doing on a Saturday. Gathering up the gardening tools, you head for the area you plan to beautify. This is the beginning….

Good in the beginning. Set your intention at this point. You might (silently or aloud) say something such as this, “I am grateful for this small portion of the planet I hold in my care. I approach this venture with reverence for the soil, plants, weeds and all unseen creatures that abide here. With a loving heart, I communicate my compassion to the Earth beneath me and a fundamental goodness to all sentient beings that reside on Earth. As my body/mind moves through the physical efforts of this gardening project, I radiate love and positive energy to all who may be suffering and may something about my action help ease their suffering.”

Feel the sacred in every action.

Good in the middle means staying present in the midst of your work as you weed and prune. If you get lost in thoughts of the past or future, or some current uncomfortable issue in your personal life, gently bring yourself back to feelings of compassion radiating outward, as well as the movements of your body and your breath.

Good in the end. Restate something similar to the intention you set in the beginning. “With gratitude for being here outdoors tending to my garden, I dedicate this completed project to the betterment of all mankind.”

Don’t worry if you start your activity with a Good in the Beginning intention, then completely forget the whole aspiration by getting lost in endless thought. It all works anyway!

As you implement this way of going about every activity, you realize that all of your actions, no matter how mundane or extraordinary, hold the potential of creating a healing benefit for everyone (enemies and friends alike) around you.


  1. Loved it. Going to remember to do it.

  2. I am going to try this for my final exams this week and next, and all the studying in between- thanks for sharing, Heather!

    • Keri! Great idea to use the Three Noble Principles along with lots of studying for finals. Meanwhile, stay cozy back there in Minnesota!!

  3. Thanks Heather, this is a great reminder. I remember hating my run one morning, thinking how cold it was etc. Then two guys passed me on hand cycles. I almost cried at my stupidity, thankful that I had working legs I powered through that run and have approached each run since with the attitude of gratitude!

    • Krishelle! Thanks for sharing your inspiring revelation. Using The Three Noble Principles with a run or walk is a perfect idea. H.

  4. Lois Jordan says:

    Love it! Going to put this principle to work!

    • Thank you, Lois. Awesome to hear of your willingness to explore “Good in the beginning, good in the middle, good in the end!” H.

  5. Jenny Baio says:

    LOVELY, mama!

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