“However, for those who thoroughly and constantly practice mindfulness of the body, and on account of that, do their duties, not acting otherwise, always mindful & clearly knowing which ideas intoxicate the mind, they move for their welfare.”
Dhammapada verses 292-293
When we do what should be avoided, either by body, speech, or mind, we are not ceasing to do evil, we are cultivating unwholesome habits, going to the kilisas for refuge. This brings about a confused or dissident mental quality, defiled by the kilesas. When we do what should be done, either by body, speech, or mind, this is ceasing to do evil, cultivating the good, and will purify the mind by diminishing the kilesas, and balancing our habits.
To do what should be done we need to live by the five precepts as our minimum standard of kamma, by minimum I mean every moment contemplation of them, reflecting constantly on whether something we do, or are about to do, goes against them in some way. Even the reflection of our actions in hindsight can aid in our decision of how to act in the present, so long as we try to see if these actions had increased the kilesas or strengthened them in some way.
This has not always been my practice, and I still have moments of weakness, or surrender to the kilesas, I go to them as my refuge, particularly the defilement of ill-will, and sense desire, I will run with them as though they are my friends, instead of fighting them as though they are my enemies, this is something each of us do with the kilesas, we each treat them as though they are our best friends, but they aren’t, we should turn our back to them, not go for a meal with them, then a movie (of their choosing) and thus act inappropriately to others due to us showing off to the defilements.
The Buddha encouraged us to fight them, providing us with knowledge of our true best friends, the Dhamma & Ariya Sangha so the Buddha is our best of best friends due to this and his showing us these was profoundly simple!
“Do not perform any evil action, good action is the way of a mendicant, purify one’s own mind - this is the wisdom the Buddhas teach.”
Dhammapada verse 183