Serene Reflection

Soto Zen School
Buddha Nature

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The Precepts are a description of enlightened action and serve as a guide. They are never imposed, but may be taken freely by anyone who wishes.

"People are sometimes repelled by the word morality, because it conjures up images of having to follow an inflexible set of arbitrary or meaningless rules that are enforced by a hypocritical authority. Morality is not about condeming others; it is not bigotry, nor is it something dreamed up by ruling elites to keep us in our place. Morality is not about authority, either a divine authority who threatens us with punishment, nor a human authority who takes it upon themselves to decide what others should do. Morality comes out of our natural wish to do good "(from "Sitting Buddha"- available as a free download from the Throssel website )

The Three Refuges

  1. I take refuge in the Buddha
    (the source of the teaching).
  2. I take refuge in the Dharma
    (The Buddha's teaching).
  3. I take refuge in the Sangha
    (those who practise the teaching).

The Three Pure Precepts

  1. Cease from evil. By refraining from that which causes confusion
    and suffering, the Truth will shine of itself.
  2. Do only good. Doing good arises naturally from ceasing from evil.
  3. Do good for others. To cease from evil is
    to devote one's life to the good of all living things.

The Ten Precepts

  1. Do not kill.
  2. Do not steal.
  3. Do not covet.
  4. Do not say that which is not true.
  5. Do not sell the wine of delusion(whether drink, drugs or the emotional
    appeal of delusive thinking).
  6. Do not speak against others.
  7. Do not be proud of yourself and devalue others.
  8. Do not be mean in giving Dharma(teaching)or wealth.
  9. Do not be angry
  10. Do not defame the Three Treasures(do not deny the Buddha within yourself or others)

The final authority is wisdom born of the compassionate heart, but we should develop the humility to check our understanding with the Buddha's teaching (the Scriptures) and with the Sangha, the living community of those who follow the Buddha's Way. We are all human and even the greatest teacher can make a mistake; however, if the Precepts are taken seriously, they provide the necessary safeguards.

A rather beautiful precepts chant . Download via this link

The Buddhist Precepts