On Sunday, March 12th, the Centre will hold a very special event - the Jukai Ceremony. Jukai is open to members of the Centre and their immediate families, including children.
Those who participate in the Jukai Ceremony are expressing their intention - as Buddhists - to follow the path of Buddhism, by first making repentance, and then vowing to uphold the Buddhist Precepts. Jukai is the single most important ceremony for a Buddhist, and is essential for those who wish to continue in their practice of Zen.
In previous newsletters, this has been said about Jukai:
"...it is not until participating in this ceremony that you can truly be said to be a member of the Buddha's family. This is because the Precepts lay the foundation for practice in the Buddhadharma, setting forth the ethical and spiritual mores for following the Way of the Buddha."
The Ceremony will involve making repentance, taking the Three Refuges, the Three General Resolutions, and the Ten Cardinal Precepts. It is also traditional to make a monetary donation to the teacher, called an "Incense Offering." Since it is given anonymously, it is an expression of the Buddhist virtue of Dana, or selfless giving.
The incense offering represents a person's willingness and desire to support the teacher's work in upholding and disseminating the Buddhadharma. It is also a way for members to show their gratitude for the teachings by helping to provide for the welfare of their teacher. What amount constitutes a proper donation is up to each individual.
Due to the solemn nature of the Jukai Ceremony, please wear a clean, pressed robe. New people can borrow a robe from the Centre to wash, or wear clean, dark, solid-colored clothing. It is also customary to clean one's living quarters and to bathe before receiving Jukai.
Time of Ceremony
The morning's sitting will start at our regular time of 9 am. with a period of zazen. This will be followed by the Jukai Ceremony, which will end at about 11 am. Afterwards we will have refreshments.