Precepts… Five, no eight, better make it sixteen

Categories: Buddhism
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Published on: March 14, 2019

Coming away from the first class on the Bodhisattva Precepts at Buddha Eye Temple I have the following to roll around in my head for a while.

The Bodhisattva Precepts used in the Soto Zen tradition encompass and expand on the ethics / sila encompassed in the Noble Eightfold Path. The sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts include multiple precepts in three groups following the tradition of Buddhism as a list of lists. For the householder rather than the monastic, sila i.e. morality or virtue should be based on an inquiry into what advances oneself and others towards realization rather than simply an adherence to a set of rules.

Taking Refuge (3)

  • Refuge in Buddha
  • Refuge in Dharma
  • Refuge in Sangha

Three Pure Precepts (3)

  • Embracing Codes and Forms

    This is the abode of the law of all Buddhas
    This is the basis of the law of of all Buddhas
    – Dogen

  • Embracing Good Dharmas

    This is the Dharma of unsurpassed complete perfect awakening,
    The Path of practicing and being practiced
    – Dogen

  • Embracing Living Beings

    This is transcending ordinary and sacred,
    Taking self and others across
    -Dogen

Ten Grave Precepts (10)

  • Not Killing
  • Not Stealing
  • Not Misusing Sexuality
  • Not Speaking Falsely
  • Not Dealing in Intoxicants
  • Not Discussing Faults
  • Not Praising Self and Criticizing Others
  • Not Being Stingy with Dharma and Wealth
  • Not Being Angry
  • Not Disparaging the Three Treasures
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