Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 7:00pm
Exploring the Ten Paramitas (Ten Perfections) and Making Them Come Alive in Your Daily Life: Vow
(Note: This topic has been suggested by members of the Yale Buddhist Sangha)
In the eighth session of our year-long series of Dharma Discussions devoted to investigating each of the Ten Perfections, we turn to pranidhana: aspiration or vow.
In Buddhist practice, a vow may be a promise to achieve a goal, or it may be a prayer that includes a promise to dedicate merit if the prayer is fulfilled. Famous examples include the aspiration or vow to awaken, and the vow a bodhisattva makes to become a future Buddha by liberating all sentient beings from suffering. Vows also may be pledges to maintain a particular way of life, such as vows of celibacy made by monastics, or public affirmations of commitment to Buddhist ethics, as in formal precepts ceremonies, or declarations to devote oneself with unflagging effort, as in the statement “delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to end them, ” included in the Four Noble Vows of Zen Buddhist sanghas.
The Buddha sat beneath the bo tree and vowed, “Not until I attain the supreme Enlightenment will I give up this seat of meditation.” What is it to make a vow, to truly commit to something, to set an intention and uphold it? Why is it important? How might committing to a solemn vow influence our actions, our karma? How does committing to a vow support our practice, and how does our practice support the vow? Does a vow depend solely on self-power, or can it rely on other-power? What are the personal vows we’ve made already in our daily lives – perhaps a vow to excel academically, for example – and how might these personal vows complement those we make as Buddhist practitioners (or not)?
Join us to share in an open conversation around these and other questions related to pranidhana, facilitated by Reverend Kanji, and bring questions of your own. We’ll begin with a brief meditation period (beginner instruction available on request). Everyone is welcome – Buddhists of all traditions and levels of experience, from beginner to advanced, and non-Buddhists, too!
It is not necessary to attend each Dharma Discussion in the series.