In Zen we consider morality as the foundation of practice. It is a key factor contributing to our strongest zazen (meditation).  The sixteen precepts of Buddhism may also be considered as an outline descriptive of our Buddha Nature, or True Self. Learn more about the precepts.

Teisho and Dharma Talks on the Precepts

Taking the Precepts: An Introduction

How do we embody the Precepts in our everyday lives? An overview of morality in Zen and the RZC’s Taking the Precepts Ceremony. Teisho by Sensei Donna Kowal. Automated Transcript

The First Precept: Not to Kill

A look at the first of the Ten Cardinal Precepts, particularly with respect to the Buffalo mass shooting, abortion, and self-immolation. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

A Look at the Precepts

Morality as the first of the three foundations of Zen practice. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn. Automated Transcript

Jukai–the Ceremony of Taking the Precepts

A look at the several elements of the ceremony. The ten cardinal precepts are examined in the context of the “five trials” of 2020: the pandemic; its financial consequences; the intensifying effects of climate change; the clearer revelation of systemic racism and its ongoing wounds; and the alarming rise of political divisiveness. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

The Buddhist Precepts in the Context of Environmentalism

With our annual ceremony of Receiving the Precepts (Jukai) coming up, here Roshi applies those precepts to the growing threat of climate change and how we might reduce the harm we are inevitably causing to the environment. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Jukai, Buddhist (Non-)Identity, and the Power of Vows

The ceremony of Jukai (Taking the Precepts) is basically an initiation into the Dharma. To be a Buddhist is to commit to aligning oneself with what is real–direct experience, not thoughts. It is to see things as they are in order to be with things as they are. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.