Studying the Precepts

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Happy New Year everyone!

Last Wednesday was our first Sangha Evening of the year. We have decided to study the Precepts over the coming weeks and I will start by giving a general introduction next Wednesday. After that we will study one precept a week, which will give us the opportunity to pay particular attention to each precept as we go about our daily life in the week leading up to the discussion of it. I think this is a very effective way of getting a feel for the relevance of the Precepts in our lives and the depth of meaning contained in them.

For those who like to read up on things I recommend two extremely good books on the Precepts of the Soto Zen tradition. The first is The Heart of Being by John Daido Loori. It’s out of print at the moment, but you can buy the Kindle version or get hold of a second-hand copy. The other one is Being Upright by Reb Anderson. (I’m purposely not putting in links so you can go to your own favourite bookseller if you are interested.)

If you are interested in the history of how the Precepts evolved into the form they take in this tradition click on this link to an article on the subject, posted on the Shasta Abbey website and written by the late, and much missed, Rev. Master Daizui MacPhillamy.

A reminder for those of you who live near enough, that we have a day retreat here on Sunday 17th January – let me know a couple of days before if you’d like to come.

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