Awake Monthly Practices

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JANUARY PRACTICE: Vowing as engaging with your deepest intentions

Intentions + Attention = Integrity

Writing the 16 Bodhisattva Precepts in your own words:

Using the January readings and the lists of precepts in the A2Z Precepts Packet, write the 16 Bodhisattva in your own words. 

Here’s an example: (Note: I included different wordings —- including negative/positive — to give you a sense of variations. Yours should be just ONE SENTENCE each)

3 Refuges                                                            3 Pure Precepts                       

  • I take refuge in the Buddha.                        I vow to refrain from harming.

  • I take refuge in the Dharma.                        I vow to make every effort to enact kindness.

  • I take refuge in the Sangha.                        I vow to live and be lived for the benefit of all beings.

10 Values-Enacting / “Grave” Precepts

  • I vow not to harm.

  • I vow not to live from the fear of lack and, therefore, taking what is not given.

  • I vow not to misuse sexuality.

  • I vow to speak from honesty.

  • I vow not to cloud mind-heart of self and others.

  • I vow not to slander.

  • I vow not to speak from competitiveness.

  • I vow to live sharing all I materially and spiritually have.

  • I vow to look deeply when anger & ill-will arises.

  • I vow not to disparage the Three Treasures.

DUE: Monday, Jan. 21 (1 day BEFORE the Tuesday, Jan. 23rd Web/Zoom-meeting)

Email to the Awake group’s Gmail address so everyone gets it. Be prepare to present it and talk about it during that meeting
Just give it your best try until then. The meeting IS to discuss challenges and insights during the process of formulating your first version of the 16 Precepts.

Other Support Materials:

Here again, are the questions from the Saturday Precepts meeting as they may be a guide to framing the 16 Precepts in your own words; in a way that resonates with what’s important to/for you:

  • What’s your earliest intention/motivation/vow you made that you can remember? How has it influence or had some resonance/impact on your values now? Has it developed into a main/central intention?
    E.g: Rev. Liên, in Egypt at 10 or 11 years old, seeing how badly treated mules pulling trash carts were, wished not to come back as a mule! …. Seeing the suffering of the animals thru beatings, resulted in a firm conviction to help/assist/alleviate suffering. Non-harming.

  • Is the INTENTION above a constant/steadfast/pervasion/guiding one in your life?

  • What’s a GUIDING intention/principle for you NOW? For the next 8-9 months, what a guiding VALUE for your practice? Not so much a “task” or “precept-ish;” more a QUALITY which you want to guide you this period/year?
    In the mule example above, the wish “to save beings” became, in a personal/interpersonal way, as acting with Kindness.

    • How might it inform/guide your precepts studies/practice this year?

Suzuki Roshi Dharma talks transcripts on the Precepts:

These 2 live-stream talks from past years' Jukai ceremonies: