The Zen Garland Vows embody the ethics of Buddhism contained in the Vinaya of the Tripitaka and the 16 Bodhisattva Precepts. When a member of one of our centers takes The Zen Garland Vows, they are committing to the values of our community and to becoming a field of benefaction in the world.
Part of this transformative experience is learning to sew a rakusu, the symbolic garment patterned on the robe Buddhist monks and nuns sewed themselves from the time of The Buddha on. The rakusu originated in China during a period when Buddhists were killed, monks and nuns forced to marry, and monasteries and temples destroyed. Monks and nuns wore them under lay garments to identify them to the faithful and one another when possible.
In sewing a rakusu and taking The Zen Garland Order Vows, a member joins the spiritual stream from The Buddha to ourselves today and beyond.