The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

51 Vows

Source: 51 Vows | Great Middle Way

dolbuddhaRefuge Vows

  1. I shall repeatedly take Refuge, recollecting the qualities of the Three Jewels.
  2. I shall make daily offerings to the Three Jewels of all I eat, drink, or otherwise accept.
  3. I shall not forsake the Three Jewels, even at the risk of my life.
  4. Having taken Refuge in the Buddha, I shall not take refuge in lesser beings.
  5. Having taken Refuge in the Dharma, I shall not harm sentient beings.
  6. Having taken Refuge in the Sangha, I shall not rely on those with wrong or lesser views.
  7. I shall honor and respect the Buddha in every representation.
  8. I shall honor and respect all Dharma texts.
  9. I shall honor and respect the Sangha of the Bodhisattvas and the ordained.

Liberation Vows

  1. I shall not take life.
  2. I shall not take what is not given freely.
  3. I shall not engage in sensual misconduct.
  4. I shall not lie or speak harsh words.
  5. I shall avoid intoxication leading to heedlessness.
  6. I shall not rest on elevated seats and beds.
  7. I shall not eat improper foods at inopportune times.
  8. I shall avoid adornment and mindless entertainment.

Fundamental Bodhisattva Vows

  1. I shall awaken numberless beings.
  2. I shall end inexhaustible delusions.
  3. I shall open boundless Dharma gates.
  4. I shall become the Great Middle Way for the benefit of all.

Additional Bodhisattva Vows

  1. I shall not praise myself or denigrate others.
  2. I shall not withhold material aid, protection, and the Dharma from those in need.
  3. I shall not resent and punish the transgressions of others.
  4. I shall never abandon the Great Middle Way.
  5. I shall not usurp what belongs to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
  6. I shall not disrobe the ordained under my care.
  7. I shall not destroy the dwellings, property, or livelihood of others.
  8. I shall not hold wrong views regarding the Noble Truths, karma, rebirth, and emptiness.
  9. I shall not teach that which is beyond another’s capacity.
  10. I shall not undermine another’s faith.
  11. I shall not cause others to regret or abandon skillful vows.
  12. I shall not disparage the preparatory teachings of the Dharma.
  13. I shall not claim sublime attainments for myself.
  14. I shall not exploit the generosity of others.
  15. I shall not favor the lesser with gifts meant for the great.
  16. I shall not give up the Supreme Aspiration.

Supreme Commitments

  1. I shall respect and serve my Root Teacher with body, speech, and mind.
  2. I shall respect and obey the precepts laid down by the Buddha and the Jonangpa Masters.
  3. I shall respect and support Vajra brothers and sisters.
  4. I shall cultivate certainty in Buddha Nature.
  5. I shall cultivate and sustain love for all sentient beings.
  6. I shall never abandon or exclude a single sentient being from my compassion.
  7. I shall study, reflect, and meditate on Other Emptiness.
  8. I shall prioritize spiritual practice, without distraction.
  9. I shall observe the fundamental daily[i], monthly[ii], and annual[iii]
  10. I shall avoid intimacy with those inimical to the Dharma, and seek their correction.
  11. I shall transmit only the authentic Great Middle Way, without fear or calculation.
  12. I shall transmit the teachings only after receiving explicit authorization.
  13. I shall sustain body and mind, without attachment or aversion.
  14. I shall never despise or refuse rebirth as long as sentient beings remain.

In short, I shall conduct myself in such a way as to sustain and increase the faith of the faithful and gladden the hearts of all sentient beings.

[i] Refuge and Seven Branch Prayer
[ii] Full Moon Guru Yoga, Dark Moon Protector Yoga, Monthly Healing & Memorial Prayers
[iii] Appearance Anniversary of Buddha Shakyamuni (Saga Dawa)

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