- Jun 15 2023
- 06:30 - 07:15
6:30-7:15 a.m. Taking Mahayana precepts (fasting and purification)
TAKE THE 8 MAHAYANA PRECEPTS – FREE
IN THE TEMPLE OF ALHAURÍN EL GRANDE
It consists of putting into practice throughout this day the 8 Mahayana Precepts (see below), although the 8 actions associated with them are symbolic because, in reality, during these 24 hours we intend to put into practice the moral discipline, refraining from committing any detrimental action (so keeping a pure physical, verbal and mental behavior: avoiding any action that is not virtuous).
It is a practice of Purification and therefore through it remove negative karma that we have done in the past.
The first time these precepts are taken, we have to receive them from a qualified Preceptor, and from then on, we can take them individually whenever we want.
Therefore, if it is your first time, you are in luck because you will be able to receive them this Saturday the 15th from Kadam Elisa Valero (Qualified Preceptor).
If we carry out this practice regularly (every 15th day of each month), we will become familiar with the training of the moral discipline and our life will become much more meaningful.
If we practice morality in this way, we will receive many great benefits. This practice will help us solve the problems of daily life, because thanks to it we will avoid creating causes of suffering and we will sow seeds that will make us obtain fortunate rebirths in the future.
Because this exercise is done with the motivation of bodhicitta it is a very powerful method to purify destructive karma. It is also a means of accumulating merit and a cause for attaining the unsurpassed happiness of enlightenment.
If we wish to extract the essence of this precious human existence, we must strive to perform this exercise as often as possible.
When we take the eight Mahayana Precepts, we explicitly promise to abstain for twenty-four hours from the following eight actions:
- engage in sexual activities
- take intoxicants
- Take food after the meal
- Sitting on thrones or high or luxurious seats
- Wearing perfumes or ornaments, singing and dancing, or performing other improper actions
Actually, these actions are symbolic because what is intended is to avoid performing any non-virtuous action during these 24 hours.
Taking and keeping these precepts is a special purification practice. Buddha understood that the suffering of all beings comes from the destructive karma they created in the past, and therefore he showed special methods to purify it.
To eliminate impure karma we have to practice the four opposing powers: Dependence, Repentance, Opposing Force, and Promise. Of these four, in this practice of the Mahayana Precepts we emphasize the Promise: the determination not to commit harmful actions again.
This promise can be realized in different ways. We can commit ourselves not to commit any impure action for the rest of our lives, for a year, a month, a week, or in this case, a day.
If we can maintain pure physical, verbal, and mental conduct for twenty-four hours, we can gradually extend it to two days, then three, and so on, until finally we are able to continuously maintain pure morality.
If there comes a time when we are able to maintain immaculate and uninterrupted physical, verbal, and mental conduct, we will have reached the pure land. With a pure body and mind there are no grounds for suffering; instead, we will enjoy only ceaseless inner happiness.
We all want to be happy – to live in a pure environment, with pure enjoyment and friendships – but as long as our mind is contaminated by destructive karma, it will be impossible for us to achieve it.
Therefore, we must apply this effective method that Buddha taught to purify our negative karma. This practice is very simple and although it lasts only one day, it produces great results.