Receiving the Bodhisattva Precepts(5/24 in Dharma Drum Vancouver Center)

A dharma friend had told me a few years ago about receiving the Bodhisattva Precepts and the boost they gave to her practice. So when I heard that the Dharma Drum Vancouver Centre will offer for the first time the transmission of the Bodhisattva Precepts I was delighted and signed up.

Then the day came: almost three hundred Dharma practitioners who wanted to take their practice one step further, a step toward buddhahood. The strict discipline made it easy to keep the mind relaxed but focused. With every hour we became more familiar with the liturgy. Shifu’s Dharma Talks explained the meaning and details of the Bodhisattva Precepts and how they will guide the practitioner to an ever deeper realization of of the bodhi mind. These Dharma Talks enabled me to get a much better understanding of the meaning and purpose of the the Bodhisattva Precepts and added a new and fresh dimension to the liturgy. The English subtitles were a wonderful help for the non-Chinese speakers.

To include the deceased family members in the transmission of the Bodhisattva Precepts widened the focus and with gratitude I offered this opportunity to my parents and grandparents by acknowledging how much they helped me to pursue a path of learning. The Transmission of the Bodhisattva Precepts on the morning of the third day was deeply moving. Inviting Buddha Shakyamuni together with all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to preside over the ceremony and witness our commitment was for me an experience beyond words. It will guide and strengthen me to observe the precepts as good as I can.

Living in a secular non-Buddhist environment I will need to ask myself how the overriding principle of compassion will shape the way the precepts are applied in concrete social situations. To renew the commitment every morning will help me to observe the precepts throughout the day. I am comforted by the fact that the commitment to observe the Bodhisattva Precepts is a seed planted in the store consciousness and will therefore guide me beyond this life.

In gratitude, Eva

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