Practicing the Vows is one of our 6 Core Practices, ethical living, living from the perspective and reality of Oneness.
The Vows are a shared commitment open to all practitioners at Zen Garland and practitioners in our Four Paths: Zen Buddhist, Christian Zen, Red Path (Native American) Zen, and Aikido Zen.
This Community Renewal maintains a 2,500-year tradition within Buddhism that occurred each new moon and full moon when the sangha gathered in various locations to study and renew their vows. The two ceremonies we all share are Taking The Zen Garland Vows and Renewing The Zen Garland Vows.
We celebrate Community Renewal once a month so that those who have taken the vows can renew them, and so that those interested in this Core Practice who have not taken The Vows can join in a discussion of the Vows and become familiar with them.
⇒ Ask your teacher about the next possibility to study the Zen Garland Vows or to take part in a Renewal of the Zen Garland Vows Ceremony.
Service is a way of being. We aim to serve the Zen Garland Community and its members and the local community, where there’s a need. Service is freely given and understood as an Zen expression of practice.
⇒ Ask your teacher about direct needs of the community and its members or other service projects in the area.
The Zen Garland Three Treasures and Ten Vows
I vow to take refuge in the Buddha, Oneness
I vow to take refuge in The Dharma, Diversity
I vow to take refuge in the Sangha, Harmony
- I vow to embrace each moment with Not-Knowing, the Practice of Presence and Service as a way of being.
- I vow devotion to Zazen, to awakening and to embodying a field of enlightenment.
- I vow to transform suffering and anger into wisdom and compassionate action.
- I vow to speak from the heart, to listen wholeheartedly, and to seek the wisdom of council.
- I vow to cultivate respect and dignity in all relationships.
- I vow to use discernment from a perspective of unity and to nurture a culture of cooperation.
- I vow to seek what is needed responsibly, to share generously, to work well with what I have, and to take only what is freely given.
- I vow to promote solidarity and a just economic order.
- I vow to care for the sacred elements – earth, water, air and fire, to help heal the infinite forms of life and energy that co-create our precious earth and universe.
- I make these vows in oneness with the Zen Garland Community and cultivate its practices for the wellfare of all creation.