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Jukai Ceremony

In the formal ceremony known as Jukai, a Zen practitioner openly receives and acknowledges the Sixteen Bodhisattava Precepts as an ongoing path in his or her life.  In the words of Diane Eshin Rizzetto, Abbess of the Bay Zen Center:

Jukai commences a lifelong process-a confirmation of practice and commitment to a life of mindful inquiry into the motivations and consequences of our actions. As a result, we are less likely to take action that is hurtful to ourselves and others. More than simply an ethical system, the precepts open the heart and mind to the wisdom and compassion that lie deep within us all. We do not “take” them or “earn” them. We receive them as a gift that acknowledges that although we may not always act in accordance with deep intelligence, it is at the core of what we are.
— Diane Eshin Rizzetto