Alix1112 wrote:Everything is well - but the ceremony was cancelled at the last minute for today. The office registrar of the temple just called to let me know; perhaps there was a scheduling conflict with the abbot or something came up. Anyways, no matter. It'll just have to wait till next time; hopefully within a month or so.
bamboo wrote:I have been thinking of joining a sangha or taking refuge. I'm curious what does it mean when you take refuge and receive the precepts. Any explanation on this is appreciated.
Taking refuge is basically "officially" becoming a Buddhist when one takes refuge in the Three Jewels. The Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Taking on the precepts is receiving the precepts of refraining from killing, stealing, lying, intoxicant use, and improper sexual practice. In Mahayana you can recieve one precept at first, two, three etc. Some people don't take the one of refraining from intoxicants due to having regular business/social engagements where drinking is "required", others perhaps might not take the precept of killing due to being in professions such as veterinary work, extermination, butchering, restaurant chef etc - at least these are the examples which I've seen or heard of locally. So it's very personal and totally up to you; it's just a promise to yourself that you will try your very best to uphold these precepts to their fullest in your life.
It's better (IMHO) to take it step by step - study Buddhism a little more if you are new to it, Take refuge after that if you wish to do so, then consider taking on precepts (it's your choice how many and how far you wish to take it). As far as entering monastic life...(I'm assuming that's what you mean by saying joining the Sangha) see how all goes first and take it one step at a time. Sorry if I'm not super informative!
yan kong wrote:tidathep, while I respect the Theravada's point of view on the subject it is not entirely the same in the Chinese Mahayana. I'm not sure how FGS views it but Master Sheng Yen did not feel it was just enough to follow the precepts. He felt that a formal ceremony was very important.
Also I don't think Bamboo was refering to the monastic community. The sangha of monks and nun is distinct from householders who have taken refuge and the five precepts.
T. Chokyi wrote:bamboo wrote:I have been thinking of joining a sangha or taking refuge. I'm curious what does it mean when you take refuge and receive the precepts. Any explanation on this is appreciated.
shaunc wrote:I'm with Tidathep on this one. If a man/woman follows the 5/8/10 precepts, would it not make him/her a better person & help them to find their way further along the spiritual path regardless of whether they'd gone through a formal ceremony or not. The 5 precepts especially are a very basic teaching in Buddhism & I don't feel as though we need a learned master to teach us how to understand them, following them 100% is not as easy admittedly.
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