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 physical killing.
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 and others.
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.