08 July 2009

Buddhist Precepts



ZCLA's Statement of the Precepts

The Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts (Kai) that are given and received during Jukai are divided into three components: the Three Treasures, the Three Pure Precepts, and the Ten Grave Precepts, as follows:


The Three Treasures (Refuges, Jewels) correspond to the “container” or “substance.” These are the essence of our true nature. The refuges are:

1. Buddha, or the aspect of oneness (equality); the unconditioned or unhindered state.

(There are no precepts.)

2. Dharma, or the aspect of differences (diversity, multiplicity) as seen from oneness.

(There are precepts, or a natural way in which life functions.)

3. Sangha, or the aspect of the natural harmonious relationship of oneness and differences.

The precepts come alive through our actions and our relationship with self and other.


The Three Pure Precepts correspond to the order in which we function as the Three Treasures. These are:

4. Do No Evil. (The Three Tenets: Not-Knowing)

5. Do Good. (The Three Tenets: Bearing Witness)

6. Do Good for Others. (The Three Tenets: Loving Action)


The Ten Grave Precepts correspond to the more specific “functioning” of the Three Treasures in daily life. These aspects of life are:

7. Non-Killing

8. Non-Stealing

9. Not Being Greedy

10. Not Telling Lies

11. Not Being Ignorant

12. Not Talking about Others’ Errors and Faults

13. Not Elevating Oneself and Blaming Others

14. Not Being Stingy

15. Not Being Angry

16. Not Speaking Ill of the Three Treasures

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