Every month on the Wednesday evening closest to the full moon the Austin Zen Center community takes part in the ancient Bodhisattva Full Moon Precept Ceremony (Jp. Ryaku fusatsu). We offer light, incense, flowers, as well as our bowing and chanting. We acknowledge the karma created by our intentional actions, and renew our commitment to the ethical conduct expressed as the 16 Bodhisattva Precepts. These guiding principles for our daily conduct in the world are:
- The Three Refuges (refuge in Buddha, the fully awakened and compassionate nature of mind; refuge in Dharma, the flawless truth of interdependence and selflessness; refuge in Sangha, the community of those who practice the Buddhadharma together).
- The Ten Major Precepts (not killing life, taking what is not given, misusing sexuality, speaking falsely, clouding the mind, speaking of others’ faults, praising self at the expense of others, being possessive, indulging anger, and not disparaging the Three Treasures – Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha).
- The Three Collective Pure Precepts (embracing and sustaining standards of conduct, embracing and sustaining good qualities, embracing and sustaining living beings).
This ceremony is rooted in a ritual from pre-Buddhist India. No experience is necessary and the texts we chant are provided. If you are new to the ceremony, you can just follow along with the assembly; brief instruction will be given beforehand.