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Precepts: Vowing

Over the past five months, We have looked into laws of Buddha Nature/Three Marks of Buddhism (Impermanence, Non-atman, & Dukkha) which align the great matter of birth and death or “Existing.” This existing is very quick:

Eihei Dogen, the thirteenth-century Zen master who founded the Soto Zen school in Japan, always emphasized how important it is to see that human life is based on impermanence. In Gakudo Yojin-shu (Points to Watch in Buddhist Training), he mentions that the great patriarch Nagarjuna said, “The mind that sees into the flux of arising and decaying, and recognizes the transient nature of the world, is called the way-seeking mind.” In Shobogenzo, “Shukke-kudoku” (Merits of the Monastic’s Life), Dogen Zenji said that most people are not able to acquire the way-seeking mind of spiritual awareness without deeply understanding that a day consists of 6,400,099,180 moments. This is a wonderful number. I don’t know where Dogen found this number, but saying that there are 6,400,099,180 moments in a day is not talking about a mysterious idea; it is talking about something real. A moment is called ksana in Sanskrit. Sometimes we say that one finger snap has sixty moments, so one finger snap equals sixty ksana. A Buddhist dictionary may say that a moment equals one seventy-fifth of a second. According to the Abhidharma scriptures, a moment consists of sixty-five instants. The actual numbers are not so important, but we should have a sense of how quickly time goes.

The Buddha Nature of Dukkha (dis-ease) suggests impermanence is energy. Further, that each moment cannot be controlled because the flux of change arising from variables is always non-alignment.

Dukkha is a state of flux always: variance. Our actions (karma) can shape our feelings in awareness. The Four Noble Truths offer that Dukkha exists, that it follows the law of impermanence (cause and effect), that knowing this we can take steps to reduce Dukkha: suffering or uneasiness on oneself and others. 

The Noble Eightfold Path unfolds when we activate our awareness each moment through dimensions of view/clarity, open thinking, speech (listening), actions, livlihood, mindfulness and meditation. Here Zazen is “being and doing,” as non-duality.

Inmo, we experience the interplay of moment and movement. The giving and receiving of moments is fluid covering clear, honest, direct behavior or Sila which enables patience even at the speed of Dogen-time. This is invigorating, a tingling-meaningfulness. This becomes meditative concentration sustaining even fleeting moments.  When we are in awe as we clearly sense the meaning of refuge as neither coming neither going...avowing past and harmful karma by taking refuge in Buddha (me) Dharma (teachings) and Sangha (we).

Therefore as such we feel both atoned and in-tune. Here we are aligned. We are heartfelt in the sixteen statements we make truthfully to the universe. We agree to keep exploring and doing until all flows unimpeded through attaining Buddhahood. 

The Three Treasures (or Refuges)

1. Being one with the Buddha

2. Being one with the Dharma

3. Being one with the Sangha

The Three Pure Precepts

1. Ceasing from evil

2. Doing good

3. Doing good for others

The Ten Grave Precepts

1. Non-killing

2. Non-stealing

3. Not misusing sex

4. Not telling lies

5. Not deluding (intoxicating) the mind

6. Not talking about others errors or faults

7. Not elevating oneself and blaming others

8. Not being stingy

9. Not being angry

10. Not speaking ill of the Three Treasures                                                                                                          

Continuing our way-finding we are Bodhisattvas living the Way...



Unshin Sangaku Dan Josly-sensei

Founder and Guiding Teacher The Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha                                                                                                                                    

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