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Thread: 7/25 - Seven Points of Practice Point 4 - p. 161

  1. #1

    7/25 - Seven Points of Practice Point 4 - p. 161

    Hi,

    I'm sure everyone knows by now, but our next book will be Aitken Roshi's, THE MIND OF CLOVER ...

    http://www.allbookstores.com/book/compare/0865471584

    ... which will be the centerpiece of our Precepts Study for the upcoming Jukai ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=994

  2. #2

    Re: 7/25 - Seven Points of Practice Point 4 - p. 161

    Hi everybody.

    I feel the same as Uchiyama does sometimes, i live with strange people, that i do not always understand, but i soldier on in the intention that i someday will.

    May the force be with you
    Tb

  3. #3

    Re: 7/25 - Seven Points of Practice Point 4 - p. 161

    Hi all,

    The concept of making a vow is a scary one for me and I think this may be true for many Westerners. In my culture, breaking a vow is a SIN, the contract is smashed, go directly to hell. Once broken, the vow no longer exists unless you repent, receive forgiveness and remake your commitment. In this scenario, it does not make sense to make a vow that you know you cannot live up to. Uchiyama, however, seems to be talking about something different when he talks of "living by vow".

    In living by vow, I think he is referring to making a practice the firm intention of your actions. You may succeed or fail, but your intention does not waiver. In fact, Uchiyama says
    Only when you live by vow does everything you meet, wherever, whenever whatever happens--reinforce your life as buddhadharma.
    You keep at it, evaluating, trying things, until you can fulfill your vow on a regular basis. (Of course, then things change and you have to come up with new ways to keep your vow.) Keeping a "vow" takes practice as does any skill.

    Anyway, I think that "vow" may not be the best word to use for this kind of commitment. Perhaps that is why so many people attracted to Buddhism have problems with committing to the Precepts. They see the inevitable breaking of the precepts as a one way ticket to hell, not as an opportunity to hone their practice.

    Gassho,

    Linda

  4. #4

    Re: 7/25 - Seven Points of Practice Point 4 - p. 161

    Linda said
    In living by vow, I think he is referring to making a practice the firm intention of your actions. You may succeed or fail, but your intention does not waiver
    I appreciated Linda's connection between intention and action. A serious intention acts like a seed that can produce effort. By reciting the vows, one's attention is brought to the intention -- like watering the seed

    Uchiyama said
    As long as you have that vow to live out your life wherever you are, sooner or later spring will come. And when it does, you will have the strength to grow.
    Tapping into will and letting that energy flow to action works for all sorts of practices.

    -- Janice

  5. #5

    Re: 7/25 - Seven Points of Practice Point 4 - p. 161

    Hi Linda,

    Quote Originally Posted by lindabeekeeper
    Anyway, I think that "vow" may not be the best word to use for this kind of commitment. Perhaps that is why so many people attracted to Buddhism have problems with committing to the Precepts. They see the inevitable breaking of the precepts as a one way ticket to hell, not as an opportunity to hone their practice.
    I think living by the Precepts prevents us from the kind of hell which results immediately, here and now, if we don't do so. That hell is not a matter of punishment from some outside entity, but rather as a direct and inevitable consequence of our actions.

    Gassho
    Ken

  6. #6

    Re: 7/25 - Seven Points of Practice Point 4 - p. 161

    The main vow Uchiyama seems to be talking about in this section seems to me to be : "Sentient beings are innumerable, I vow to save them all". I am not sure how to apply that in my life. I certainly am not qualified to be a zen teacher and zen doesn't appear to have all that much in the way of outreach techniques for converting people in the manner of evangelical Christianity. And didn't I read somewhere that you have to ask a zen master 3 times before he will tell you anything about the dharma? So I suppose all I can do is practice zazen quietly and show others how to meditate if they ask me?

    Gassho,
    John

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