Dharma practice is to cultivate the right mindfulness so it becomes like an instinct. When there are opportunities, we should observe the eight vows of sojong to experience monastic living for a day and a night. It'd be a good way to start a pure lifestyle of simplicity.
It isn't easy for laypeople to carry our Dharma practice because they are occupied by jobs, living, and lots of troubles. Although it's tough, I'd still encourage you to take the Three Refuge vows, the five precepts of the laity, the eight vows of sojong, and the bodhisattva vow. Better yet, you should try the short-term monastic program if possible. These are great opportunities for us to immerse in the Dharma, to accumulate merits for the future, to purify our karmic debts, and to sow the pure seeds of bodhi.
After receiving the eight vows of sojong, it is not the end. I hope that you'd maintain a pure intent and safeguard your body, speech, and mind. The more you could take the sojong the better. It is a way to discipline our minds consistently. The eight vows are to refrain from:
1. Wearing ornaments and perfume. One should not put on perfume or makeup.
2. Taking a high seat or bedding. This would help one from developing an indulgent attitude which would intensify indolence. We should carry out a diligent living. Having a pure, peaceful, and compassionate mind is the best ornament of all instead of all sorts of makeup. The original, pure, and noble qualities of disciplining our minds are the true ornaments.
3. Killing. All Buddhists should be determined not to take the lives of other beings.
4. Stealing. One should not take what is not given.
5. Sexual misconduct. This is the basic ethic that a human being should refrain from.
6. False speech. One should be an honest man without lying or exaggerated speech.
7. Intoxication. One should not drink nor taking addictive substances.
8. Eating at an inappropriate time. No further food should be taken after the noon meal.
These precepts are the reminder that you should keep in mind. Be clear with the benefits if the vows are observed and the disadvantages if they are broken. Be a Buddhist who happily practice in accordance with the teaching of the Buddha. Strive on! Namo Amitabha!
Friday, 30 April 2021 17:16