Monday, December 15, 2008

Diane's Sink full of teaching: some basics

Diane Rizzetto, Abbess of the Bay Zen Center, Oakland, CA. writes in her book, Waking Up To What You Do, that she has a "sink full of teaching" and she starts with some basics to the Simple Mind: Originally these basic principles were the result of Buddhist Monasticism. They governed the community and the lives of the monks and nuns living in those places. Later as the practice of Buddhism spread to other places, not only was it in the monasteries and the convents, but lay communities came to know the basic principles, often called 'precepts.'

Within the Buddhist realm there are differences of thought and emphasis, or what might also be called 'denominations.' Some view the precepts as a beginning to practice while others view them as essential elements of practice, but all agree they are vital. They can be viewed as "a beacon of light." 'They mirror and guide us through our strongest desires and our deepest fears...they are a firm but compassionate hand on the shoulder that points us through the unending cause and effect that helps us to understand that no result comes about completely independently. As the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said, 'the end preexists in the means,' or the end is the beginning.

Learned and used skillfully, the precepts can "pebble by pebble, boulder by boulder, bring down the walls of separation and reveal our connection to one another, loved ones and enemies alike...they reveal the ways we fall into vicious cycles of thinking and acting, causing suffering to ourselves and to others.

The Precepts by Diane Rizzetto according to Simple Mind practice:

I take up the way of speaking truthfully
I take up the way of speaking of others with openness and possibility
I take up the way of meeting others on equal ground
I take up the way of cultivating a clear mind
I take up the way of taking what is freely given, and giving freely what I can
I take up the way of engaging in sexual intimacy respectfully and with an open heart
I take up the way of letting go of anger
I take up the way of supporting life

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