Precepts and their background

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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:
      • Correct view
        • Why is it first in the eightfold path?
        • Why is it last in the three principal aspects of the path?
    • 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)

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