SEX & ZEN
Two Dharma Talks Investigating Zen Buddhism’s Third Grave Precept
Zen in the Japanese tradition counts ten grave precepts. They’re the first ten precepts of the Mahayana Bramajala Sutra, and are used by both householders and clergy. The first five are identical, or nearly so, with the householder precepts given by Gautama Siddhartha, and are also found in the Vinaya precepts for monastics. Taken together the Precepts are sometimes called the Bodhisattva Precepts.
The third of these concerns sexual ethics.
Some common ways of framing the precept:
- Do not covet.
- Not to engage in improper sexuality, but to practice purity of mind and self-restraint.
- Not misusing sexuality, but committing to healthy relationship.
- Not to misuse sexual energy, but to be honest and respectful in mind and action.
- Encountering all creations with respect and dignity. This is the precept of Chaste
- Honoring mutuality and respecting commitment, I vow to take up the Way of Not
Here are two talks from the Zen perspective by teachers within the Empty Moon Zen community.