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Precepts and their background

Precepts and their background

A talk given during Sravasti Abbey’s annual Exploring Monastic Life program in 2005.

  • The importance and benefits of taking precepts
  • About the sangha (continued)
    • Buddha’s encounters with people of other sects:
    • Having miraculous powers has nothing to do with the spiritual path and is nothing to brag about
    • The sangha at the time of the Buddha included people of all castes who kept the same precepts regardless of background (the caste system is forbidden in the sangha)
    • How rules preventing certain people from ordaining came about
    • The Buddha and his sangha’s daily schedule
    • 12 austere practices
    • Reciprocal relationship: the sangha and lay people
    • Respecting fellow sangha members
  • Questions and answers
    • We accumulate good karma from keeping precepts even while we’re reading a book—how does this work?
    • What is the difference between paying homage/respect and idol worship?
    • Seeing the teacher as a Buddha and how this impacts the Western sangha in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition
    • Etiquette with the sangha and spiritual mentors

Exploring Monastic Life 2005: Session 5 (download)

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.