This is the General Ethics Statement used by Australian Zen Studies Institute please read and abide by it on this forum, at the Zendo, and in life.
The following advice applies at Jizoan and at any Zen Centre in the world, and at any time and place, please accept this whole heartedly in the spirit in which it is given.
Jizoan Zendo is a place where you can create your own life as Bodhisattva practice.
Although you are expected to train harmoniously with others at Jizoan, the responsibility lies solely with yourself. There is no one to live your life for you. No one to wipe your arse for you.
Zen is based on eye to eye transmission of the Dharma. It is an unbroken tradition originating with the Historical Tathagata Buddha Sakayamuni, 2500 years ago and transmitted from Ancestor to Ancestor.
Participation in zazen in the group sittings or by one’s self even for 20 years does not authorize you as a Zen Teacher/Master or practice leader. It should be recognized that to become a Zen teacher is a specifically directed vocation dependent on many years of formal study with a Shiso or ‘Dharma father/mother’ and entailing considerable qualification. It is substantially different to becoming a Yoga teacher by Course training for example.
A Dharma teacher has embarked on a deeply personal decades long journey of Self that has begun with ‘I am not nor ever will be anyone else’s teacher’ long before their own Shiso has authorized/transmitted
them as such, and even that has been followed by more deeply matured doubt.
Participation in a workshop or seminar or talk series does not authorize you to teach that body, similarly as mentioned above.
Your Dharma family is not perfect as human beings are not, but Dharma Wisdom is, the perfecting of Dharma Wisdom however is a lifetime.
Do not slander yourself and others by seeking the faults in others while ignoring your own. Even participating in a single sitting, listening to a single Dharma talk or joining a workshop, seminar etc. is an opportunity to open yourself, but completely dependent on your willingness to develop personal maturity.
Others around you are living breathing beings, with feelings, rights, doubts, faiths, it is not ethical for them to be used, manipulated or preyed upon for self gratification (including, financial, sexual, material, social and ego). Your participation in Zen training in any form must be based on the principle that you are not embarking on gain, anything else is not authentic Zen, or authentic Life.
Others around you are living breathing beings, with feelings, rights, doubts, faiths, they are not shadows existing to deliver reward satisfaction to you.
Do not be religious, cultivate a spirit of not lingering, including over the Buddhas and thoughts, and in that way true Compassion will force it’s way through even if you try to resist it.
Your participation must be based on the Ten Essential Precepts; Not Kill Life, Not Steal, Not be False, Not use Sex for gain, Not use intoxicants, Not Slander others, Not seek self praise, Not to hate, To value the Community, To devote one’s self to Awakening.
To represent one’s self falsely, to seek praise, to manipulate others for gain, and make dependent through alcohol, drugs, sex, speech, to turn others
against others, is to steal and ultimately Kill life and squander the opportunity to Awaken one’s self in this life Awakening one’s self is the practice of the Bodhisattva way.
The Bodhisattva way is; Giving, Kind Speech, Kind Thoughts, and ultimately empathic identification.
There is no Buddha, no Zen, no Buddh-ism, that you may say; another ‘Is’ or ‘Is Not’, and therefore I may (give myself permission to), hurt them. The Bodhisattva way is therefore the way of all Human beings beyond name and gain.
It is most important is not to use the Buddha Way for your own purposes, but rather to give up your own ideas and through yourself completely into the practice of the way. Just come, just sit, don’t dream of being a teacher to others if you do this a few times. It will not make you a Zen teacher, becoming a Zen teacher is a process of years inwardly focussed on your own training before you ca take responsibility for others. For this you should be clear about the basis of your training and the motive that brings you here. If you expect anything other from your training here than what life at this moment has to offer you, you will be invariably be disappointed. Karmic forces of entanglement have brought you to this place and time to be able to inquire into this moment, do not throw it away and begin another negative selfish cycle from this positive moment.
Make sure you know why you want to come here don’t waste your life trying to fool yourself and others.
These principles are applied at Perth Zen Centre Jizoan, it is also suffice to say that they are broadly standard throughout all Zen Temples, Centres, Groups, both Rinzai and Soto, and even beyond to other forms of Buddhism.
You may bring a pair of shoes, thongs or sandals easy and quick to slip on and off, no foot wear is worn in the Zendo (Meditation hall) during sittings, socks are allowed afterwards.
Basic schedule may change from time to time.
Zen tradition like all Buddhism does not require special rules such as diet, though any morning and lunch meals served is Shojin ryojin style (no alcohol including vinegar, no dairy, no tube vegetables), a style of Vegan cuisine developed in Zen temples, dinner may include non vegan ingredients in accordance with the Chinese Vinaya rules observed in Zen Centres (worldwide). This in no way means that you must adhere to this tradition except in a Zendo. It is possible to select the food offered and all food should be taken with a spirit of gratefulness, even an accidental piece of meat, and nothing left behind.
A Final Ethic to Consider
Some things in life do not belong on a supermarket aisle to be ‘tried’, don’t practice from half a heart, jump in whole heatedly. You are being accepted here without judgments so you can practice deeply and others will support you as you do that, so leave your judgments and discriminations behind, it’s what you embarked on to do at heart isn’t it?
Gassho _/\_ (Compassion)