Receiving The Precepts & Becoming a Buddhist
Contrary to popular belief, Zen is rooted in moral values. While spiritual insight can lead to liberation, we will not be able to settle our minds if we are embroiled in harmful behaviors and thoughts. In addition, when we aspire to follow moral precepts but find ourselves breaking them, our self-attachment is revealed to us (and then we can address it).
It is so important for spiritual practice to be grounded in moral behavior that “receiving the precepts,” or publicly acknowledging your intent to use them as a guide for your life, is the primary aspect of becoming a Buddhist. Once a year, Bright Way Zen holds a Precepts (Jukai) ceremony, in which people receive the precepts and formally become Buddhists.
Before receiving the precepts at Bright Way, you will need to:
♦ Participate regularly with Bright Way (Tuesdays, Saturdays, and/or Sundays) for at least a few months, ideally 6 months to a year;
♦ Complete a course of study of the precepts (generally 12 weeks long)
♦ Become a member of Bright Way Zen
Listen to or read Domyo’s article/podcast on Taking Refuge and Precepts: The Significance of Becoming a Buddhist, which includes a description of how we do this at Bright Way Zen.