It is the full moon, and our monthly Zen Fusatsu service. During fusatsu we renew the ten basic lay precepts. We commit to ethical and responsible action, with an eye toward serving all beings.
We bow and we chant and we vow and for the most part i am totally down with it. It is easy enough to get behind not killing or lying or stealing, although even those precepts are subject to endless argument and hair-splitting. It is easy to agree, but the act of wrestling with the underlying concepts and their real-life applications presents the chewy nugget of the buddhist way.
I do fine until we get to Precept #3: “A disciple of Buddha does not engage in sexual misconduct.” What does this mean, exactly? Sure, sex is big, but given that buddhism has no moral stance on the rightness or wrongness of sex, what is so special about it that it deserves its own Precept? (more…)