The Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts

The Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts are an essential part of Zen practice. They are taken in ordinations and other ceremonies such as weddings and funerals, as well as every month in the renewal of vows during Full Moon Ceremonies. One translation commonly used at Zen Center is given below. (See also the full text of the Full Moon Ceremony.)

Three Refuges

I take refuge in Buddha

before all beings,
immersing body and mind
deeply in the Way,
awakening true mind.

I take refuge in Dharma

before all beings,
entering deeply the merciful ocean
of Buddha's Way.

I take refuge in Sangha

before all beings,
bringing harmony to everyone,
free from hindrance.

Three Pure Precepts

I vow to refrain from all evil.
I vow to make every effort to live in enlightenment.
I vow to live and be lived for the benefit of all beings.

Ten Grave Precepts

I vow not to kill.
I vow not to take what is not given.
I vow not to misuse sexuality.
I vow to refrain from false speech.
I vow to refrain from intoxicants.
I vow not to slander.
I vow not to praise self at the expense of others.
I vow not to be avaricious.
I vow not to harbor ill will.
I vow not to disparage the Three Treasures.