This is a free series open to all – for those interested in integrating ethical action based on Buddhist teachings as well as those considering formally receiving the 16 Bodhisattva Precepts. Hour and half classes are led by Seido and a senior student – they include study booklet and additional resources. Half the time will be spent in direct teaching and the other half engaging questions and discussion. The topic for each class is as follows:
I. Introduction to Buddhist Ethics
II. Atonement & Taking Refuge
III. Three Pure Precepts
IV. Ten Grave Precepts
The precepts are natural and inherent in our lives, whether or not we consider them from a Buddhist perspective. They are not a test or rules imposed by some outer power but are akin to the natural laws of the universe with which we wish to be in harmony. When we begin a spiritual search, it is because a natural instinct has arisen within, and we seek a teaching or practice to help us clarify what this instinct is and where it might lead. When we find a teaching or practice that fits, we seek guidance and the community of others who understand what it is we are trying to do. The instinct that sets us on this search comes from the urging of Buddha Mind itself, and following it wholeheartedly is what we mean by “taking refuge in the Buddha.” Looking for a teaching or practice is seeking the Dharma and looking for a teacher or community is seeking Sangha. In this way, the Three Refuges of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha appear completely naturally regardless to whatever path is taken.
~ Excerpt by Kyogen Carlson, former DRZC Abbott, from DRZC Precept Study Guide