On Sunday, 14th of November, AZG held a jukai ceremony for Matt Williams who accepted precepts with Bob Joyner Roshi. This ceremony marks Matt’s ongoing deepening into the practice of working with the precepts with Bob as his guiding teacher, and making a public declaration to the sangha that this journey is an ongoing part of his life and practice.
Matt has kindly let us share his personal vows, a personal response to the precepts that he has developed over several months through deep inner consultation with himself and with his teacher. Congratulations Matt!
If you’re interesting in knowing more about the precepts and understanding Jukai, why not try this article from Lion’s Roar.
Also, if you’d like a taste of how to work with the precepts in person, this coming Thursday, 18 November, evening Zazen at Hutt Street will comprise a Full Moon Precept ceremony led by Allan Marett. We will be taking up the precept of Not Discussing Faults of Others. Please join us!
MATT WILLIAMS: JUKAI VOWS
THREE VOWS OF REFUGE.
I take refuge in the Buddha.
The Buddha lead the way and showed that for all beings, realisation is possible. The Buddha’s example encourages me to keep working at my practice.
I take refuge in the Dharma.
The Buddha’s teaching highlights the path so
that when I struggle to see it, the teachings show me the way, in this I take
refuge and strength.
I take refuge in the Sangha.
The Sangha as a group of people on the same
path provides encouragement and support to me when things are hard. Without a strong support any building
finds it harder to stand, likewise without the sangha to support, my practice
becomes harder and shakier.
THE THREE PURE PRECEPTS.
I vow to maintain the precepts.
The precepts guide us and provide the
signposts for our journey, they outline a way to behave and act that helps us
with our practice and to actualise our buddha nature.
I vow to practice all good Dharmas.
Practicing good Dharmas is not separate from
maintaining the precepts and helps us saving the many beings, it is through our
words and actions that we express buddha nature to the world and help others to
realise it also.
I vow to save the many beings.
I save them all by including, nothing left
out. When I fall back into
concepts and ideas, I leave things out and cause separation. By practicing on my cushion and letting
go of concepts and ideas I include all beings.
THE TEN GRAVE PRECEPTS.
I take up the way of NOT KILLING.
Killing has many forms it’s not just
To stop or hinder someone’s journey in
search of empty oneness, which could be through physical death, or it could
take a myriad of other forms. To express the truth that there is no separation
between you and I we should support and nurture all beings.
I take up the way of NOT STEALING.
Stealing encourages the belief that self and
object are separate, and supports the ego centric mindset. By being generous with the dharma assets
we support all beings.
I take up the way of NOT MISUSING SEX.
This body (all bodies) is none other than a
complete presentation of the whole – it should be honoured and respected as
such. Misusing sex is not separate from stealing or killing, it is simply
another form of perpetuating concepts and ideas, and not promoting realisation.
I take up the way of NOT SPEAKING FALSELY.
To use lies enhances the perception that you
are in here and I am out there. It
reinforces the separation that self and other are different and encourages
ideas and concepts.
I take up the way of NOT GIVING OR TAKING DRUGS.
An occasional drink is pleasant but escaping
to either it or drugs separates us from realisation and enforces concepts and
ideas. To misuse alcohol or drugs
is no other than stealing and killing.
I take up the way of NOT DISCUSSING FAULTS OF OTHERS.
All things, and all phenomena are an
expression of empty oneness. To
see faults and errors is to fall into concepts and ideas separating ourselves
I take up the way of NOT PRAISING MYSELF WHILST ABUSING OTHERS.
All beings are to be valued and supported,
to praise oneself or speak ill of others reinforces the separation and delusion
that we strive to see through on our cushions.
I take up the way of NOT SPARING THE DHARMA ASSETS.
All things arise in the moment, nothing is
mine, there is no me or other, hanging onto the delusion that I can amass
wealth just helps to enforce concepts and ideas, nothing is mine so what is to
not give freely. In doing so we
also help others awaken to the truth.
I take up the way of NOT INDULGING IN ANGER.
Anger arises, let it rise but do not hang on
it, in doing so we separate ourselves and fall back into delusion, stealing
from ourselves and others the opportunity to see the reality just as it is
expressed in the moment.
I take up the way of NOT DEFAMING THE THREE TREASURES.
Our Sangha is a key support and one that needs to be treasured. A group of likeminded people to help us in our practice is something to be valued and nurtured, talking negatively of the sangha encourages and breeds mistrust and will not help to nurture and support our practice or the practice of others. The Buddha showed us the way and the Dharma is our guide if we defile them we help separate ourselves from them and breed delusion.