After 10 years of stydying the dharma, I finally took the precepts on Sunday at the Toronto Zen Centre. Why did I wait so long? I take this kind of pledge seriously, and felt I wasn't ready until now. Maybe it was my Christian or Western baggage. Maybe it was my new baby daughter that made me think hard about my shortcomings. But the reasons don't really matter, do they?
Here's some info on the precepts: http://users.rcn.com/chicagobuddha/programs/precepts.html
I was given the dharma name "Magwang", which means "polishing and burnishing". I think its meaning is pretty self-evident. Others were given some pretty cryptic names, some were well known, like Maitreya and Maya (the group shared the common name "Ma"). As each person was given their name, Sunim made some funny comments - overall the mood was joyful.
So, has anything changed for me? Not much - except for a tiny flame in the pit of my stomach...
I no longer drink or smoke dope - funny, I don't have those cravings yet (I could weaken, but I don't plan to). I don't download music files anymore (dont take what is not given).
Sunim empahsized that we can sometimes break our vows, but the important thing is to try.
Now I just have to complete my 3,000 prostrations...*ouch* :bowdown: