January 05, 2012

Who cares about morality?

This post contains audio, video, or images. View media now

Sol LeWitt

WIthout the precepts, Robert Aitken Roshi once said, Zen practice is no more than a hobby. Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede, who leads our January Tricycle Retreat, teaches—in his Tricycle article and retreat—that we must restore the precepts (sila) to their proper place in Western practice along wisdom (prajna) and meditation (dhyana).

In his Tricycle Retreat, "The Precepts as Practice," Roshi Kojlhede leads us on a close examination of morality in Zen Buddhism, including the Three Refuges, the Three General Resolutions, and the Ten Cardinal Precepts. The precepts, often thought (mistakenly) to be a Buddhist version of the Ten Commandments, are actually quite different. Ultimately, the responsibility lies with us, not God, but that doesn't mean we retreat into soft relativism where "anything goes."

Explore the subtle ins and out of the Buddhist precepts with the roshi of Rochester Zen Center, once known as the Boot Camp of American Zen. At first glance, the precepts may seem to constrain our behavior, but they are ultimately liberating, and the rest of the practice doesn't hang together without them. Roshi Kjolhede leads the discussion.

See a preview of the Week 1 teaching below, and join the Tricycle Retreat, "The Precepts as Practice," here.

Share with a Friend

Email to a Friend

Already a member? Log in to share this content.

You must be a Tricycle Community member to use this feature.

1. Join as a Basic Member

Signing up to Tricycle newsletters will enroll you as a free Tricycle Basic Member.You can opt out of our emails at any time from your account screen.

2. Enter Your Message Details

Enter multiple email addresses on separate lines or separate them with commas.

Video