Jukai -Receiving the Precepts

Jukai is a Buddhist ceremony wherein one, after studying for a time receives the Bodhisattva Precepts and vows to follow them to the best of their ability. Taking the Buddhist Precepts is a significant aspect of practice. The Bodhisattva Precepts are one of the most vital areas of study for a practitioner, regardless of whether they practice as lay practitioners or intend to take the vows of a monastic. In essence, the Precepts are a definition of the life of a Buddha; how one makes moral and ethical decisions while manifesting wisdom and compassion in everyday life.

As Robert Aitken writes in ‘The Mind of Clover’, “Without the precepts as guidelines, Zen Buddhism tends to become a hobby, made to fit the needs of the ego. Selflessness, as taught in the Zen center, conflicts with the indulgence that is encouraged by society. The student is drawn back and forth, from outside to within the Zen center, tending to use the center as a sanctuary from the difficulties experienced in the world…. The true Zen Buddhist center is not a mere sanctuary, but a source from which ethically motivate people move outward to engage in the larger community.”

These Precepts were retained by Buddhas of the past. They were transmitted by Ancestor to Ancestor over time and space. Upon receiving them you make a vow to seek to keep these Precepts to the end of your life.

The Three Devotions

Taking Refuge
  1. Being one with the Buddha
  2. Being one with the Dharma
  3. Being one with the Sangha

The Three Pure Precepts

  1. Avoid doing harm
  2. Do good, live in a healthful and helping way
  3. Do good for others, live for the benefit of all sentient beings

The Ten Grave Precepts

  1. Affirm life; Do not kill
  2. Be giving; Do not steal
  3. Honor the body; Do not misuse sexuality
  4. Do not lie, refrain from false and malicious speech
  5. Proceed clearly; refrain from intoxication in its many forms
  6. See perfection; Do not speak ill of others, their errors or faults
  7. Realize self and other as one; Do not elevate the self and judge others
  8. Give generously; Not being stingy
  9. Actualize harmony; Do not be angry
  10. Experience the intimacy of things; Do not defile the Three Treasures