Eight Precepts

“Mahayana Precepts” are vows we take with the aspiration to become enlightened so that we can help lead all sentient beings to enlightenment. The vows, or “precepts,” enable us to more easily conduct ourselves with purity untainted by selfishness because we commit to these vows with the strong motivation of cherishing and wishing to benefit all others without exception. Taking these precepts is a powerful and effective way for us to build, maintain and increase our own inclination towards spiritual practice helping give profound meaning to our precious human life.

The Precepts:

l. No killing, not even the smallest insect.
2. No stealing, no taking any thing or service without it being properly given to us.
3. No sexual activity of any kind as this sort of activity stokes selfish desire.
4. No telling lies, including not exaggerating, not falsely praising, not saying anything to mislead another.
5. No drinking alcohol or taking any other sort of intoxicant including caffeine, etc., if that leads to heedlessness.
6. No idle chatter, singing or dancing, makeup or ornaments.
7. Do not eat after the sun is at its mid-point in the sky. Do not eat meat as per the first precept.
8. Do not sit on a high chair or sleep in a high place.

Taking the Precepts

To gain the full blessing, the best way to take the precepts is from a qualified master that you intend to commit to and follow as your teacher. However, you can still take these vows and have some blessing result and wish that in the future you will meet the right master to formally give you the vows. If you have attended Nyungne at the Palyul Retreat Center in the United States or at a Palyul center in any other place, or even if you have attended Nyungne from another tradition (with a qualified master), you will have completed the correct requirement. Without this, the vows can be taken informally, but if you want to take them formally, you can use this Nyungne text. (Please send an offering to Palyul Changchub Dargyeling Ohio if you decide to download the text by clicking on this link).