Tuesday, May 22, 2012

5 vows

1)      I vow to help other beings
2)      I vow to learn. Especially from my mistakes and from others
3)      I vow to be true to myself
4)      I vow to meet this moment and let it pass
5)      I vow to become these vows

I contemplated and eventually created these vows because I felt the need to reinforce a message, to myself, on how to conduct myself on a day to day basis. I think about these vows in the morning after I meditate and the act of thinking about them keeps them fresh. And because they are fresh I am more likely to live a lifestyle in accordance with these vows. I’ll admit any day I was heavily influenced by the vows many people took at Tassajara. They went something like:

1. I vow to rescue the boundless living beings from suffering;
2. I vow to put an end to the infinite afflictions of living beings;
3. I vow to learn the measureless Dharma-doors;
4. I vow to realize the unsurpassed path of the Buddha.

Now these vows are awesome. You can see how mine are very similar. Indeed, I was profoundly affected by these vows. I could feel the power of a vow then. How a vow could guide someone over the course of their life. However, in the end, I altered the Tassajara vows because they didn’t click deep down in my heart.

I encourage you to create a vow that you would like to put into practice each day. Find something that matters to you. Think of how you would like to live your life. Keep it general though. Don’t be too specific because if you get too specific then there is a clear measure of success and failure. Vows aren’t about success or failure. I fail everyday at my vows. There is so much more I could do to help, so much more I can do to learn, so much more I can do. Yet that isn’t the point. Vows are guidelines, they are promises we create to ourselves and they spring from a deep spiritual source.

I’d be interested in hearing about your vows if you end up creating them. 

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