The traditional 10 grave precepts suggest a ‘refraining from’ – refraining from killing, stealing, misusing sex, lying, using intoxicants, speaking of others’ errors and faults, praising oneself and putting down others, being stingy, harboring ill will, and defaming the Buddha, dharma and sangha.
Zen teacher Josh Bartok reframed vows to values in a recent article in Lion's Roar magazine. I gratefully re-share them here.
I value affirming life and honoring the reality of interdependence. I value attending to the impact of privilege and non-privilege.
I value cultivating a sense of enoughness with regard to material, relational and spiritual attainments
I value entrusting to the universe what belongs to the universe and not arrogating it for myself.
I value mutuality and commitment in relationships, remembering the support and stability that loving relationships bring;
I value attending to issues of gender oppression and equality.
I value listening fully and speaking openly, remembering that truth is vastly larger than what arises in my mind and that, “I don’t know,” is often the actual fact of the matter.
I value clarity of mind and turning toward my life; and I value the enoughness of the dharma and my experience as it is.
I value the perspective that life is one continuous mistake, and that even mistakes are grace.
I value meeting others on equal ground, connecting to the good in everyone and recalling that I am exceptional neither in my wholeness nor my brokenness.
I value making use of the entirety of my life and circumstances, sharing all that I find useful, even if that makes me feel less special.
I value finding a way to work with my mind even amid painful conditions, both inner and outer.
I value the specificity of my life as the only conduit through which I can actualize my values, while remembering that there are other values and other paths that are equally valued and valuable.
What do YOU value?
Translated freshly by a Zen teacher Josh Bartok / Originally appeared in Lion’s Roar magazine January 2017