The Bodhisattva Precepts

Jukai - Taking the Precepts

The Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts in the Zen tradition were originally designed as guidelines for living a life that supports and deepens practice in everyday life. They can also function as an endless source of contemplation and help us to continually awaken to the universal nature of reality that we call Buddha Nature. “Taking the precepts” with a teacher who has received Dharma transmission from his or her teacher is a way to publicly acknowledge commitment to this way that is beyond words and forms. We vow together to embrace the actual circumstances of our lives, and to enter fully into whatever we encounter.

The Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts


The Three Treasures

I take refuge in Buddha.
I take refuge in Dharma.
I take refuge in Sangha.

The Three Pure Precepts

I vow to avoid evil.
I vow to practice good.
I vow to save all beings.

The Ten Grave Precepts

Recognizing I am not separate from all that is, I vow to take up the way of not killing.

Being satisfied with what I have, I vow to take up the way of not stealing.

Treating all beings with respect and dignity, I vow to take up the way of not misusing sex.

Listening and speaking from the heart, I vow to take up the way of not speaking falsely.

Cultivating a mind that sees clearly, I vow to take up the way of not giving or taking drugs.

Unconditionally accepting what each moment has to offer, I vow to take up the way of not discussing the faults of others.

Speaking what I perceive to be the truth without guilt or blame, I vow to take up the way of not praising myself while abusing others.

Being grateful for the gifts of this life, I vow to take up the way of not sparing the Dharma assets.

Transforming suffering into wisdom, I vow to take up the way of not indulging in anger.

Honoring my life as an instrument of the Great Way, I vow to take the way of not defaming the Three Treasures.

Zen Kaji

More on the Precepts

Bodhisattva – Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhisattva

Bodhisattva Precepts – Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhisattva_Precepts