Awake Readings

These are the four books you’ll need for the program:

  • Robert Aitken: The Mind of Clover

  • Reb Anderson: Being Upright

  • Cheri Huber (ed. Sara Jenkins): Good Life: A Zen Precepts Retreat

  • Norman Fischer: Taking Our Places


July Readings 

Precepts 7 - 9  (framed 2 ways):

  1. Not Praising Self at the Expense of Others / Practicing Humility

  2. Not Avaricious / Practicing Piety or Tolerance of Views, and

  3. Not to Harbor Ill-Will / Practicing Acceptance

  • Aitken: The Mind of Clover Chapters 8 -10

  • Anderson: Being Upright, Chapters 19-21

  • Huber: Good Life Chapters 7 - 9

Meeting Preparation:

Please WRITE The 16 BODHISATTVA PRECEPTS in your own words once again.

  • Email to Rev. Liên before/by our meeting on Saturday, July 13th

    NOTE: This practice is NOT optional. Please do AND complete on time. It's important! :)

June Readings

Precepts 5 & 6: Maintaining Clear Mind & Awareness With Fault-Finding

  • Aitken: The Mind of Clover Chapters 6-7

  • Anderson: Being Upright, Chapters 17-18

  • Huber: Good Life Chapters 5 – 6

DUE at Precepts Meeting June 8:

Please WRITE-OUT of how these 2 precepts are related: (bring a hand-copy to hand-in to Rev. Liên)

  • A: In relation to each other.

    • Example: (Here in the negative and positive)

      • NEGATIVE: I find it's easier to engage in judging others when I'm drunk (making fun at how people dance, for instance).

      • POSITIVE: When I don't repeatedly overwork, I find I'm less short-tempered and impatient when I get home; therefore less like to yell at my children for "being too noisy" or find myself labeling my partner's relaying of his/her/their day as "complaining."

  • B: How these 1 of this month’s precepts may relate to any of the other Grave Precepts.

    • Example: When I'm drunk, I get mad easily; finding myself to the point of getting into bar fights (Precept # 5 and #1 Not Killing/Non-harming)

WRITE OUT at least one example for A and B

May Readings

Grave Precepts 3 & 4 --- Not Misusing Sexuality & Not Lying

BEFORE doing your reading: Please write down an early memory or experience in which you learnt about : 1) sexuality and 2) about truth in speech( 2 total) --- The "learnt" experience could be an actual event and the ideas or beliefs you then acquired or it could be what you were told about how to understand sexuality and truth in speech. 

Please bring in this writing to the Precepts Meeting to share with the group on Saturday, May 11

  • Aitken: The Mind of Clover Chapters 4 - 5

  • Anderson: Being Upright, Chapters 15 - 16

  • Huber: Good Life Chapters 3- 4

  • Fischer: Taking Our Places (rest of book at your leisure)

Way-Seeking Mind Talks

It is a Soto Zen tradition to give a “Way-Seeking Mind” (WSM) Talk. Every person in Awake before you have given one.

On May 13 & 20, each of you will give a 15-minute WSM Talk during our Mondays A2Z meeting. Watch this video for what a “WSM Talk” is and the format:

We’ll talk more about it at A2Z next Monday 5/6 and at our in-person Precepts Meeting on Saturday 5/11. Just wanted to give you all a heads up; especially for a chance to sign up for which date you can give the talk. It's a great practice and will give you an opportunity to connect to the sangha more!

April Readings:

Precepts 1 & 2 — Non-Harming/Respecting Life and Not Stealing/Not-Lacking

  • Aitken: The Mind of Clover, Chapters 2 - 3

  • Anderson: Being Upright, Chapters 12 - 14

  • Huber: Good Life, Chapters 1 - 2

  • Fischer: Taking Our Places, Chapter 8 “Conduct”

READ articles & LISTEN to:

BEFORE our 4/14 Precepts Meeting :  

Last month, we focused on how to support our own, individual practice at home or other settings such as work. This month, we enact our commitment and inspiration that OUR PRACTICE IS FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL BEINGS.

Therefore, please put some thoughts (and plan?) to a COMMUNITY or WORLD-BASED activity you will do for the month of April which will assist you to practice with the Grave Precepts of Not Killing and/or Not Stealing.

Examples (feel free to do more than 1 item)

  • For/In the month of April:

    • For Not-Killing/Respecting Life, you will stop eating meat (if not completely, try-on “Meatless Mondays” or some such)

    • For not-stealing/not-lacking, you will bring attention to how you "steal” other’s time or respect by not acknowledging their role/job position by not taking the time yourself to look around or look up information; instead, to act from a place of thinking others are there to serve your immediate wants and/or needs (especially at restaurants, at banks, ___ ?). And then, _ (act in a way that is in alignment with…)__.

    • You will go feed the homeless at _____ event or go pack groceries at ___ food bank —- To act on the sense of sharing vs. lack (which can be the drive to stealing). —- Volunteering with a vegan-based group (such as Curry Without Worry) would incorporate BOTH precepts!

  • Some other COMMUNITY or WORLD-BASED practice of your own choosing that resonates for you around the precepts of Not-Killing/Respecting Life &/or Not-Stealing/Not-Lacking

    This request is being asked of you now because your volunteer time/session needs to take place before our Zoom meeting on April 23

    — You may need to call your organization of choice ASAP to ensure that this happens.

March Readings: Three Pure Precepts

  • Aitken: The Mind of Clover Chapter 1

  • Anderson: Being Upright, Chapters 8 -11

  • Fischer: Taking Our Places Chapter 6 “Meditation”

  • From the digital reading packet (previously linked), Katagiri Roshi's "Buddha's Mind"

Read Suzuki Roshi talk:                

February: Three Refuges

  • Anderson: Being Upright (Chapters 5 - 7)

  • Fischer: Taking Our Places (Chapter 5 "Connection")

Read these transcripts of Suzuki Roshi talks:

July 2, 1971 “Real Precepts Are Beyond Words
       June 11, 1967   "Three Treasures"
July 6, 1971     (Three Treasures)

January: Vowing

What does it mean to engage with the Precepts to manifest your deepest values?

Readings from your books:

  • Anderson’s Being Upright

    • Introduction & Chapters 1 - 4

  • Fischer:  Taking Our Places           

    • Chapter 7 “Vowing” (Chapters 1- 4 optional)

Readings from the digital A2Z Precepts Packet

  • The first 16 pages of this packet (through "Taking Refuge" by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche)

Suzuki Roshi Dharma talks transcripts on the Precepts: