Our Refuge group is meeting through Zoom once a month as part of a year-long class led by Michelle Brandt Sensei. The first hour of the morning is devoted to discussing the precepts and is open to everyone.
Contact Michelle at Koanview@gmail.com for more information.
VERSE OF THE KESA
We honor the three treasures
and are grateful for this food
the work of many hands
and the sacrifice of other life.
The vow of not killing might be kept through noticing our tendency to kill another person's speech or thought by interrupting them before they are through speaking. When we view the vows in this expanded way we can find that it is more about taking the time to notice where life is rather than imposing prohibitions on life. Then we naturally refrain from killing, all we had to do was notice.
When we bring the spirit of the vow into any activity, that's keeping the vow. Not judging or forming opinions about how well we or others keep the vows is also staying true to the spirit of the task.
We can’t keep a vow from a distant or separate stance, or from within an idea or concept, we have to live it to see it through. Living vows may pose themselves as questions or koans that accompany us during our daily actions. Ultimately, there's no way to know whether we're making the right move or not, life is far more subtle and mysterious for such easy conclusions. But we can notice that as we bring others into our awareness and act from that recognition, we may start having fewer complaints about our circumstances and that some of our usual forms of suffering has ended. That's something.
Acknowledging our connectedness through our choices and our actions is the Bodhisattva Path.