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Transcribing the oral tradition...

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Contents of Precepts of the Gurus - 2nd Seminar

by Sangharakshita



[Study based on the Chapter entitled:
'The Supreme Path, The Rosary of Precious Gems'
found in
"A BUDDHIST BIBLE", edited by Dwight Goddard,
1970 edition, Beacon Press, Boston, USA.
(ISBN 0-8070-5951-X)]


1The Ten Requirements
(1). Having estimated one's capabilities, one requireth a sure line of action".
2Balancing one's subjective requirements and the objective needs of the situation
3What one thinks of as virtues can be vices
4-5The difficulty of finding out quickly what our capabilities really are - it can take many
years, even after ordination
Finding out what one really wants to do
6The deep and intense person and the broad person - Milarepa and Padmasambhava
7Wanting to do contradictory things
8Should one ever recommend that someone gives up the spiritual life?
9Not necessarily doing what one is used to doing when one gets involved with the FWBO/the
spiritual life
10The Bodhisattva Vow to master all dharmas
11(2) To carry out the commands of a religious preceptor, one requireth confidence and
12Urging someone to do something
12-18How do you get people to do things? Sticks and carrots
13Creating an inverse hierarchy - the newest people being given the most money and the
older ones the least etc.
14Trade Unions functioning against the individual
15Give what you can and take what you need
Not diluting the co-operative principle
Not doing things out of a spirit of conformity, which even happens within the 'spiritual' life
16Having a 'common purse'
18A co-op will only work if everyone in it believes in its ideals
20Money being almost an extension of a person's own being
22Taking responsibility in communities
23(3) To avoid error in choosing a guru the disciple requires knowledge of his own faults and
24Choosing a guru? Meeting disciples is far preferable
25In the West avoid gurus!
26Guru just means 'teacher' in India
A positive sobriety in the Theravada as regards gurus
27The emotional exultation of being received back into the group
28(4) Keenness of intellect and unwavering faith are required to tune in with the mind of the
spiritual preceptor.
38-29Vertical and horizontal communication
30'You cannot be a guru officially'
(5) Unceasing watchfulness and mental alertness graced with humility are required to keep
the body, speech and mind unsullied by evil.

31Maintaining one's purity
Purity as an ideal
33The Shakers in the USA
33-34The words 'unskilful' and 'evil'
34(6) Spiritual armour and strength of intellect are required for the fulfilment of one's hearts'
35Vows and the Bodhichitta
The ten precepts/silas as principles
36Taking vows publicly
37The place of vows in the spiritual life
39Spiritual armour - patience
40The Perfection of Patience
Before Stream Entry there is always the possibility of falling back
41Avoiding generalisations based on very limited information
42The necessity of vision and inspiration
The need to stretch oneself (not in the physical sense!) and not settle down
43Strength of intellect
44Being scientifically or artistically inclined
Science and the arts
Not using the feelings as a refuge from thinking
46One sided development of the intellect detrimental to the development of the human being
47(7) Habitual freedom from desire and attachment is necessary if one would be free from
47"Love and Addiction "- the book
48Craving and desire Desiring to eliminate craving
49Pessimistic misunderstandings of Buddhism
50The Bodhisattva being reborn not out of craving but out of compassion
51-52Very dangerous vipassana retreats leading to alienation and worse
53Communicating the dharma in a way that is appropriate to the person it is being
communicated to
54Certain 'vipassana' teachers discounting metta completely
55(8) To acquire the twofold merit born of right motives, right actions and the altruistic
dedication of their results, there is need of unceasing efforts.
Punya (Merit)
56"No Bodhisattva ever had a nervous breakdown"!
The touch of the Transcendental
57Bhante's use of the word 'Transcendental'
58-61Misuse/debasement of the word 'growth'
61The difficulty of writing without using cliches
Saying/writing what you really mean
62Making full use of language - the dictionary
63Writing and journalism - writing under pressure
'Unceasing effort'
(9) The mind, imbued with love and compassion in thought and deed, ought ever to be
directed to the service of all sentient beings.
64Emotional positivity
Waking up feeling happy
66The emotion experienced when giving
The importance of giving
Everything you do is a language an conveys a message
Caring and catering for guests
69Feeding and entertaining strangers/wanderers in India
69-71Social graces

70Bhante's finding many people in the Friends uncouth after India
72Through hearing, understanding, and Wisdom one should so comprehend the nature of all
things as not to fall into the error of regarding matter and phenomena as real.
The three levels of Wisdom
73Not deliberately forgetting impermanence
74Hedonists in pursuit of pleasure
75-76Being healthily hedonistic and healthily ascetic at the same time
78III. The Ten Things to be Done
(1) Attach thyself to a religious preceptor endowed with spiritual power and complete
Positive attachment
79Going beyond omniscience
80Energy and life in spiritual activities
80-82Being at one's best when leading classes
82-83Getting enough sleep
The capacity to drop everything for short periods
83(2) Seek a delightful solitude endowed with psychic influences as a hermitage.
84Calm conducive 'vibrations' in certain natural settings
84-85Gandava - consciousnesses hovering around seeking rebirth
85(3) Seek friends who have beliefs and habits like thine own and in whom thou canst place
thy trust.
86Immediate reactions of attraction or repulsion to certain people
87Setting up communities
88Different sorts of communities
Setting up mixed and family communities
89-90Weakening single sex communities by the presence of the opposite sex
91Projection onto people leading classes etc.
92-94Ultimate responsibility for FWBO activities
93Quick decisions cannot be taken by committees
94(4) Keeping in mind the evils of gluttony, use just enough food to keep thee fit during the
period of thy retreat.
96Eating alone and eating with others
97-98Being 'motherly' Men contacting their femininity
99Creative cooking
100Enjoying food
102-103Strange people becoming attracted to vegetarianism
103-104Becoming vegans
104-105Looking to kitchens/food on retreats etc., for (mother's) warmth and comfort
105-107Are women or men better cooks?!
108(5) Study the teachings of all the great sages of all sects impartially.
108Buddhist 'sects' Yana, Vada, Darshana, Nikaya
109The three nikayas in Buddhist Ceylon
Being in a particular nikaya but sympathetic to some of the views of another nikaya
109-110Nyingmapas, Kadampas, Kagypas, Gelugpas (and Sakyapas) in Tibet
110The Yanas in India - Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana
Tantric lineages
111The Tri-yana - seeking inspiration from all Buddhist sources
112Balancing all the schools and practising what one finds helpful and useful
113The FWBO is not 'eclectic'
The FWBO emphasis on the individual and the group
114Redefining old terminology

115Respect for the FWBO from other Buddhist groups purely because of material, not
spiritual, gains
116-120Not generalising about the FWBO from a limited number of contacts
120All traditional Buddhist Sanghas are exclusive!
(6) Study the beneficent sciences of medicine, astrology and the profound art of omens
121-124The Buddha's warnings to bhikkhus against practising astrology
Lucky and unlucky omens
Causality and synchronicity
124-127Animal omens, symbols and totems
127(7) Adopt such regimen and manner of living as will keep thee in good health.
Stress among chairmen in the FWBO
128Being under stress and being stretched
128-131Not underestimating the body's physical needs
Looking after oneself physically
131Use of cosmetics, caring for one's teeth, dying hair
132High heeled shoes
Incompatibility of karate and meditation?
133Yoga and dance, eurhythmy
134(8) Adopt such devotional practices as will conduce to thy spiritual development.
Devotional practices within the FWBO
135Not to feel obliged to make offerings in pujas
Making offerings before a sevenfold puja commences
136Large Buddha images ...

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