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Thread: The Treeleaf Ryaku Fusatsu Precepts Recommitment Ceremony

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    The Treeleaf Ryaku Fusatsu Precepts Recommitment Ceremony

    From the time of the early Buddhist sangha, monks and nuns would gather at the time of the full and new moon confess wrongdoing and atone for their actions. There was also a recital of the 227 parts of the Prātimokṣa (rules of monastic discipline) and, for lay people, a chance to follow the same rules as ordained Buddhists for a period of twenty-four hours. In Pali these days were known as Uposatha and were a time for both monastic and lay people to intensify their practice.

    The practice of Uposatha was transmitted to other Buddhist countries and in Japanese Sōtō Zen became Ryaku Fusatsu, which translates as “abbreviated or simple ceremony to continue doing good”. According to the Gyōji Kihan (Standard Observances of the Sōtō School), this ceremony of confession and recommitting to the precepts is performed on the fifteeth and thirtieth/thirty-first days of each lunar month, which correspond to the full and new moons. The confessions and avowal parts of the original ceremony remain, but instead of the Prātimokṣa, there is a recommittal to the sixteen precepts of Zen which are taken at Jukai and as part of Shukke Tokudo (home-leaving ordination). We confess our past failings, and seek to do better for the future, all while recognizing our frail human nature, casting all into Emptiness as well. Thus, our atonement is also sometimes said to be our “at-one-ment” too. All comes down to you heart, and your sincere vow to do better as one can in the future.

    Many western Zen sanghas offer a Ryaku Fusatsu ceremony at the time of the full moon and we will be doing the same at Treeleaf. Attendance is purely optional but we hope that you will take the opportunity to recite and recommit to the precepts as well as atoning for any wrong-doing over the previous month. Even if you choose not to attend every month, feel free to join in at any point you feel called to.

    If you need a copy of the ceremony please send me a message.

    Deep bows
    Kokuu
    Last edited by Kokuu; 01-26-2021 at 08:24 PM.
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    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

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