We sit Zazen “dropping all thoughts of right and wrong, good and bad“… taking life just as it comes, without judgment…
But, gee, don’t some think that we Buddhists have no sense of “right and wrong.”
WE MOST CERTAINLY DO!
(If you are going to do this Zen thing, ya have to learn the art of experiencing life from seemingly incongruous perspectives: For example, all paths up life’s mountain go just where they go, are what they are, lead where they lead… But some lead right off a cliff!)
I mean, we drop all resistance to life, drop all ideas of how life “should be” vs. “how it is” … yet, hand-in-hand (like the other side of a single coin), we also know that some ways of leading life do great harm, cause pain, bring suffering to us and to those around us.
Thus, the Bodhisattva Precepts are at the heart of our Practice. NOT hard and fast laws or “Commandments from Heaven,” each precept is rather an arrow pointing out a good path — toward a life of peace, gentleness, balance, moderation, health, satisfaction. They guide us to avoid the taking of life, stealing, abusing others, abusing our bodies, engaging in anger, harsh speech, and wrong actions...
All the Precepts basically come down to this: One is guided to seek, as one can, not to do harm… and to live in a way that is healthful and beneficial to oneself and others. (Oneself and others are not truly separate, by the way.) .
Living by the Precepts supports and sustains the Practice of Zazen, because one simply cannot taste the sweet fruits of our Practice if filled with anger, violence, greed, and excess. (And in such a case, all of your life, and maybe the lives of those you impact, will likely be a mess too!) In turn, the Practice of Zazen supports and nurtures living by the Precepts.
In fact, Zazen --is-- living by the Precepts, Living by the Precepts nothing besides Zazen.
Early in one’s Buddhist Practice, one should begin to learn about each of the Buddhist Precepts and seek to take them to heart.
CLICK HERE for today’s Sit-A-Long video.
Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 15 to 35 minutes is recommended.