On the fifteenth day of each month local Buddhists make an effort to come together early in the morning to Buddha Land Centre. We take part in an ancient practice to train in mindfulness of the Buddhist way. It is called taking Precepts and was Buddha’s encouragement for people to improve their motivation and purity of mind.
Can anyone come to do Precepts with us? Yes; as always at Kadampa Centres for modern Buddhism everyone is welcome. Simply check the centre calender and turn up at the door just before 6.30am.
What does taking precepts involve? We make a special effort for one twenty four hour period to do the best we can with our mind. We are guided through the Precepts ceremony, which is a chanted meditation & guided meditation, reciting mantra, and making a promise to train our mind. With our minds feeling clear and uplifted, we make a start to our day.
But the precepts practice does not end there; it lasts for 24 hours until the same time the next day. Some people can do this going to work, or helping others, or taking time out to relax and refresh. It is also a good opportunity to spend some time with our ‘Sangha’ or buddhist spiritual friends at the Centre here in Keighley. It’s a special time to focus and make the best of the opportunity which in hectic modern life we don’t often get.
Spending time apart from ordinary activities and enjoying quiet time for reflection in the meditation hall upstairs, or in World Peace Cafe, is a healing and satisfying experience. It gives time for us to reconnect with one’s spiritual life, help to release tension, and let go of unhelpful feelings or distracting thoughts.
It feels meaningful to apply the mind slowly and consciously to practice during precepts.
One of the special qualities of precepts at our Keighley World Peace Cafe and meditation hall is the wonderful sunlight from big tall windows, meaning it can be hot at any time of year, but also find cool shade if you need it; not to mention the warmth of the people here.
Come and try taking precepts the next time it comes around. If you can get here early it is well worth the effort; it’s generally on the fifteenth of the month but it is best to check the Centre Calendar.