Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Five Trainings

One of my students, Zachary John, recently received the gift of the Five Moral Precepts at the Grand Rapids Buddhist Temple. He posted his thoughts of his FaceBook page. With his permission, I am sharing his wise words.

Earlier this week, I accepted the Five Precepts at the Grand Rapids Buddhist Temple and was given the name Xíngdòng Su which means "unadorned (Su) action (Xíngdòng)". For about 6 months I have been meeting weekly with others to study the Five Precepts at the GR Buddhist Temple under the guidance of ordained monks, other preceptors, and the Sangha as a whole. I wanted to share some information about this.
The Five Precepts are as follows (and for a lengthier explanation please read Thich Nhat Hanh's expansion on these "5 Mindfulness Trainings" as he calls them):

1. To protect and respect life.
2. To protect and respect the property of others.
3. To protect and respect the truth.
4. To protect and respect sexual/personal boundaries.
5. To protect and respect oneself.
The Five Precepts are not commandments, they are guidelines, as a means to live a more peaceful life. A life more in-tune with the peaceful and compassionate nature of humans and this universe as a whole. They are not meant to be followed blindly or seen as black-white rules, but as a way to utilize compassion and wisdom to guide your actions, thoughts, and interactions with yourself and the world.
Taking the Five Precepts is not a requirement to practice Buddhism, heck, identifying as a Buddhist is not a requirement to practice Buddhism. I believe there are countless beings who live lives of compassion and wisdom who have never heard of the Buddha. I think of Jesus, Ghandi, St. Francis, Mother Theresa, and so many other less known teachers and practitioners of compassion and wisdom.
Taking the Five Precepts and taking a Dharma Name is to me a way to publicly state my goal of helping and caring for others, myself, and this universe. I will surely flounder often, but I am appreciative of all the challenges I face and hope I learn from the mistakes I make.
The intention of this post is to explain the inclusion of my Dharma Name in my public profile, and as well to further publicize my commitment to practicing the way of compassion and wisdom. I ask that as my friends and family you question and challenge me in my endeavors to help me along this way, I will surely need it.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post.
Hugs + smiles,
Xíngdòng Su

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