This is the time of the full moon, and the Ryaku Fusatsu ceremony performed at Zen Center connects us back to the earliest days of Buddhism, when itinerant monks in India would gather together at the full and new moon to renew their vows.
Perhaps the highlight of my whole summer last year at Tassajara was to be doshi for the full moon ceremony, thus being the person who spoke for the assembly the words of Dogen’s commentaries on the precepts. These commentaries are among my favourite lines of Buddhist text.
One that has particularly held my attention over the years is the commentary on the tenth grave precept, ‘I vow not to disparage the Three Treasures’:
‘To expound the dharma with this body is foremost. The virtue returns to the ocean of reality. It is unfathomable; we just accept it with respect and gratitude.’