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Thread: Some Final Thoughts on the Precepts

  1. #1

    Some Final Thoughts on the Precepts

    Hello all,

    Well, it's almost here! JUKAI JUKAI JUAKI

    As I was reading the recent post on instructions for the ceremony, I was struck by a phrase by Jundo hoping that those taking the precepts have defined a meaning for them. My instant reaction was that of "Oh hell... Have I?" and the mental scrambling that followed trying to dig up MY meaning. I went through each precept in my head in a bit of a rush to try to discover that meaning, that extra special nugget that I must have forgotten to unearth because no words were coming to mind as I tried to answer this phrase. I picked up Mind of Clover and started thumbing through, skimming, to find my meaning that I obviously hadn't retrieved from these pages.

    Well, no nugget. Nothing to show. And that's how I like it. If I were to have something, I would be farther back than where I started. So, no, I don't have a special meaning for the precepts. I don't have a grand philosophical essay for them. All I have is right now, right from where I am to actual them, from this moment to the next.

    I think we expect too much sometimes. That 13 odd weeks will carve these precepts into our bones and beyond; that a year of zazen will be enough to fully actualize this life and then we may move on, permanently enlightened, into the world and if we haven't managed that, we have failed. Maybe this is just me, but I think we are often very hard on ourselves where we shouldn't be and not hard enough where we should.

    Just a few of my thoughts, what are yours?


  2. #2

    Re: Some Final Thoughts on the Precepts

    Taylor wrote;
    Just a few of my thoughts, what are yours?
    Pretty much the same as yours brother. I had one big moment of doubt where I almost threw it all away but Jundo put me straight and I'll see you all on Sunday


  3. #3

    Re: Some Final Thoughts on the Precepts

    Hello everyone,
    I agree with your statment (Taylor) that we expect too much sometimes, If I were to use my own set of criteria I would never be "ready" or worthy of Jukai, and the Precepts.
    I have been very much in a state of reflection this past week, as Jukai draws near, along with the New Year, and also coming up on the anniversary of my joining Treeleaf.
    I myself tried to drop out of Jukai, because I went away on a trip for a bit and was not confident I would be able to properly keep the promise I had made to myself, and the sangha. After a bit of reflection and guidance by Jundo I changed my mind and jumped back in.
    I was mostly right that it was very distracting to be away, and I did struggle to maintain what I had drawn in my head of what I thought Jukai, and Practice "Should" be.
    This has been the way of things this past year for me, ups and downs, starts and stops. Zazen, Ango, Jukai. A self inflicted and silly roller coaster ride trying to find balance, trying to "GET" there. This made me realize (or re-realize I have known all along) that this has been the pattern of my life for a very long time. Always trying to get there, and never paying attention to what is right here, right now.

    So finaly to the point my thoughts on the precepts:
    For me the precepts are the reminder of right here, right now. That is all. This whole year I realize that all the sitting, reading, preparing, doing, and not doing got me NO WHERE.
    Which is right where I should have been all along.... So my silly thinking seems to be now.

    Thank you all for the wonderful teaching and practice you share on this road to no where.

    See you Sunday ~ D.

  4. #4

    Re: Some Final Thoughts on the Precepts

    Thanks for those posts D'day and Taylor.
    I did have a moment wondering what I was doing...but doubt seems to open a space sometimes to let something new in.
    Now I'm just looking forward to Jukai.

    Gassho Nigel

  5. #5

    Re: Some Final Thoughts on the Precepts

    Hi Guys,

    The Precepts are something we live with and dance with all our lives, not a single once and for all "carved into our bones" cement statue. Meanings and shades can constantly change just as life situations and "ethical dilemmas" change and constantly present themselves. The Precepts are living things, like us.

    At this point, the "meaning" of each Precept may not be a single set of words, set in a simple fixed way as if written by a lawyer! 8) More, they may each be a sense and a feeling, held silently but securely, within the heart.

    Gassho, Jundo (Dharma Attorney)

  6. #6

    Re: Some Final Thoughts on the Precepts

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Gassho, Jundo (Dharma Attorney) you charge by the moment or endless time? Either way, that could get prciey! :lol:

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