Purpose Statement

Exploration -> Experience -> Feeling -> Awareness -> Understanding -> Transformation -> Liberation

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I recently did the Jukai ceremony. Part of the ceremony is the public “taking-on” of vows and precepts. My Roshi instructed me to make a brief re-statement of each vow and precept in my own words. Here is what I said:

I take refuge in the Buddha. Luminous Venus in the evening sky, behind saguaro silhouettes. Wonderful! Wonderful! Now I see how radiant we all are!

I take refuge in the Dharma. Truth and reality are more subtle and mysterious than the imaginary forms I conjure to explain what I cannot know.

I take refuge in the Sangha. Practicing harmony in community, I confront and reconcile my internal conflicts.

I vow to maintain the precepts, especially when Mara sends his three lovely daughters to seduce me.

I vow to practice all good dharmas and save the world with my good karma.

I vow to save the many beings. None of us get to heaven until we all get to heaven.

I take up the way of not killing. Nan Chuan has the cat by the scruff of the neck and his knife at the ready. Please oh please oh please let me give a turning word.

I take up the way of not stealing. Apparently I cannot possess even my own self.

I take up the way of not misusing sex. I strive to be honest with myself and transparent with others.

I take up the way of not speaking falsely. Nothing to defend. Nothing to promote. Of what use is deceit?

I take up the way of not giving or taking drugs. No escapism. I choose the searching and fearless moral inventory.

I take up the way of not discussing the faults of others. Is it the fault of another I see, or is it my own reflection?

I take up the way of not praising myself while abusing others. I see now that the freedom to live is found by forgetting the self and being of service to others.

I take up the way of not sparing the dharma assets. From a world of scarcity comes the duality of yours and mine. I choose to create a world of abundance.

I take up the way of not indulging in anger. May my anger invigorate my pursuit of the Eightfold Path.

I take up the way of not defaming the three treasures. BUTSU DO MU JO SEI GAN JO.

My Roshi gave me my Dharma name: Bohdai Shin
Japanese: bodaishin

Sanskrit: बोधिचित्त, bodhicitta

Chinese: 菩提心, putixin
Tibetan: byang chub kyi sems)jang chub sem
Mongolian: бодь сэтгэл
The ceremony was on Rohatsu at the conclusion of a seven day sesshin. It was a great blessing that most of my spiritual family attended the ceremony.