Archive | January 2012

Tibetan Nuns Project

Here are three films about the Tibetan Nuns Project, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and supporting nuns in India from all Tibetan Buddhist lineages. It supports nuns interested in study and higher ordination.

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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Taking of the Precepts

This is from a book on the precepts for lay people which was written by Shi Faxun, who has kindly given permission for us to serialise it over the coming weeks.


Can we observe the Precepts without going through the official ceremony?

Some people say that they are already keeping the precepts and are spiritual, and feel there is no need to go through the official ceremony. In fact, they argue that they are better than those who go through it but do not uphold the precepts.

The ceremony is a time when we can express our faith, confidence and commitment. By participating in the ceremony, we express our determination and commitment to observe these Five Precepts in our daily life. It means we have strong faith in these Five Precepts as a framework for us to transform our life; without faith, it will be difficult to observe/practise the Precepts. In the ceremony, we publicly accept the Five Precepts with a strong intention to use them as a guideline for living an ethical life. In other words, we are committed to live a virtuous life, with dignity and mindfulness, to be in harmony with all beings around us; in short, to bring our actions into harmony with our spiritual ideals.

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Bhikkhuni Hasapanna: The Importance of Sila

Here is a talk given by Ayya Hasapanna on her recent Dhamma Duta tour of Malaysia. It was given at the Buddhist Gem Fellowship, Petaling Jaya (KL) around December 7th 2011. The recording is a bit problematic, but the message comes through anyway in Ayya’s characteristic style.

The Fifth Precept: Abstain from Consuming Intoxicating Drinks and Drugs

This is from a book on the precepts for lay people which was written by Shi Faxun, who has kindly given permission for us to serialise it over the coming weeks.


The Precept

Surā-meraya-majja-pamādaṭṭhānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi.
I undertake the training rule to abstain from intoxicating drink that causes heedlessness.

Conditions Under Which A Violation Is Considered to Have Occurred

• Object: The intoxicant
• Intention: The intention of taking the intoxicant
• The Act: The activity of ingesting it
• Consequence: The actual ingestion of the intoxicant

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Mike Cross: Women Gold Miners Not Wanted?

Mike Cross

Mike Cross

Editor’s note: Mike Cross received the Bodhisattva precepts in 1983 from Gudo Nishijima and worked jointly with his teacher on the translation from Japanese to English of Zen Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo, published in four volumes between 1994 and 1998.

Thereafter Mike focused his attention on the seminal text of Dogen’s teaching, the Rules of Sitting-zen for Everybody (Fukan-Zazengi), which contains such enigmatic instructions as “Think the state of not-thinking.” What is such thinking? And how does it relate to feeling and action?

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The Fourth Precept: Abstain from False Speech

This is from a book on the precepts for lay people which was written by Shi Faxun, who has kindly given permission for us to serialise it over the coming weeks.


The Precept

Musāvāda veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi.
I undertake the training rule to abstain from false speech.
I will respect truthfulness

Conditions Under Which A Violation Is Considered to Have Occurred

• Object: A human being other than oneself
• Intention: The intent to misrepresent the truth and to deceive
• The Act: The act of communicating the untruth through words or gestures or by being silent
• Consequence: The person comprehends the meaning of the lie. If he or she does not, then our words are idle talk

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Adhimutta Bhikkhuni: What is it like being a Bhikkhuni?

reflections on a question posed by a friend, shortly after ordination, August 2010.

Well, just normal and natural, no big deal – it’s easier to write about what it is like not being able to ordain, what it is like being held in other forms of ordination when one is ready to unfold, how it is when a natural progression is interrupted, what that energetic blocking is like and all the justifications and complications and repressions and denials and convolutions needed to keep this in place.

Adhimutta Bhikkhuni

Adhimutta Bhikkhuni

But then, when a flower unfolds, opens out under the sun with moisture from the earth just as it should, it’s very beautiful, normal and natural, and a joy and pleasure arise from the beauty of just the ordinary and yet the extra-ordinary too.

When things are working well they are almost not noticed. Just as after a long period of illness one  really notices the pleasure of lack of illness – when something has been giving pain for a long time one really notices and appreciates the lack of pain, the ease in this.  But the lack of pain is in some ways nothing special also – except the miracle of so many things having to be working well for there to be this ease – and if there is an ease in suffering after a long time of illness, and when there have been many things wrong, then it is very miraculous, very lovely.

Spaces where normal and natural unfolding is possible are very precious – like good friends, jewels radiate through a lifetime, and make a whole life beautiful, something to be treasured deeply. Yet, at the time, one just enjoys that space, that easy companionship – and afterwards looking back see how this companionship made so much possible, but at the time it just is.

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