Mary Tan — Taking the Lay Bodhisattva Precepts

Early on, I had heard a Dharma Master explain the contents of the Lay Bodhisattva Precepts; I refused to take them earlier for fear I might break them and fall into the evil destinies. But in 2008, in support of a friend who wanted to receive the Lay Bodhisattva Precepts, the two of us went to Chung Tai.

For me, receiving the Lay Bodhisattva Precepts is a blessing, and an important event. As one of the Sutras states: “When sentient beings receive the Buddhist precepts, they ascend to the Buddha’s level; reaching this level of great enlightenment is truly becoming Buddha’s disciple.” On the path to enlightenment, taking the Precepts sows the correct causes for Buddhahood; each succeeding lifetime will lead to becoming a Buddha. On the way to Bodhi, remember the reminders set by the three aspects of the pure precepts; always cease evil and cultivate good, and enlighten sentient beings. Only in the future can one reap the pure and bright merits of the Precepts, forever be liberated, and attain the level of the Buddha.

I am still a beginner on the bodhisattva path, and still have many things to improve on. Before receiving the Precepts, I was never vigilant, always giving rise to evil thoughts and doing evil actions, never detecting my faults. Now that I am constantly reminded of the Precepts, I can now repent for my wrong actions right away. In this way, I slowly attain clarity and pureness of mind and increase my good affinity and karma, allowing me to move forward bravely on the bodhisattva path.