Sunday we finished a 6-day Precepts Retreat and our Annual Silent Thunder Order Conference. The Precepts/vows we take as Soto Zen Buddhist begin with refuge in the Three Treasures , continue with the Pure Precepts, do good, do only good, help others and then the Ten Grave PreceptsI vow not to kill.I vow not to take what is not given.I vow not to misuse sexuality.I vow to refrain from false speech.I vow to refrain from intoxicants.I vow not to slander.I vow not to praise self at the expense of others.I vow not to be avaricious.I vow not to harbor ill will.I vow not to disparage the Three Treasures.
These are our practice that unfold Paramitas or wisdom: Generosity, giving of oneself, giving time and virtuous, moral behavior. Doing what is right, at the right time. Patience, tolerance for people, situations and experiences outside our comfort. Energy, strength and diligence to stay on the path, even when it becomes difficult and uncomfortable. Concentration and self reflection. Contemplation on things outside our immediate understanding and Prajna wisdom, understanding, letting go of logic and embracing the void/emptiness.
Harmony as in accord, is touching (striking) patterns (we say the right ones) that reduce suffering. What we call harmony is not harmony that is why it we call it harmony, In Buddha Nature there is emptiness of form and form, these are less than two. This means we "name" to attempt to grasp. Harmony is a name we give as in a note to follow "so." We intuit it as so...we say it resonates...so. Yet in harmony there is not harmony, but we don't call it that, as in non-harmony there is harmony but we don't call it that.
Everything IS and our "names" are metaphors of the non-knowing, attempts to articulate the dynamic we experience but can't define while experiencing it most strongly when it returns to emptiness. We experience the essence of the precepts when they break and harmony with discord...
I will be Skyping into the Tuesday night FSZS service at 8PM/ET to say hello and talk about harmony, as I enter week three of my Ango