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Zen Precepts Study Group

  • Monday, March 07, 2016
  • (PST)
  • Monday, October 10, 2016
  • (PDT)
  • 8 sessions
  • Monday, March 07, 2016, 6:30 PM 8:00 PM (PST)
  • Monday, April 11, 2016, 6:30 PM 8:00 PM (PDT)
  • Monday, May 02, 2016, 6:30 PM 8:00 PM (PDT)
  • Monday, June 06, 2016, 6:30 PM 8:00 PM (PDT)
  • Monday, July 11, 2016, 6:30 PM 8:00 PM (PDT)
  • Monday, August 01, 2016, 6:30 PM 8:00 PM (PDT)
  • Monday, September 12, 2016, 6:30 PM 8:00 PM (PDT)
  • Monday, October 10, 2016, 6:30 PM 8:00 PM (PDT)
  • Red Cedar Dharma Hall, 1021 N. Forest St., Bellingham WA 98225


  • Please let us know you intend to come and give us a little information about your intentions in the registration form.

Registration is closed

A monthly precepts study group. The Zen Precepts are a powerful tool for awareness that integrate the philosophy and attitude of Zen training with the everyday challenges of life. Please consider attending this wonderful opportunity to study the precepts deeply and in community. 


(1) All Red Cedar Zen Members are invited to join but the group is not drop-in. RCZC students should have the intention to attend all 8 sessions, but it’s fine if they miss a few due to conflicts or scheduling issues. 

(2) Students in the process of moving towards jukai (receiving the precepts, part of the zaike tokudo ceremony – “lay ordination” or literally “staying home, attaining the way”) are expected to attend all 8 sessions and should not miss more than one without a conversation with their precepts teacher.

Note that given the timeline some people may ask and receive permission to study towards jukai during the first months of the study group. If in doubt please begin coming to the study group and we will discern as we go.

Please use the registration form at the left to RSVP if you intend to come to study group.


A monthly study group with readings done ahead from 3 key books on the precepts supplemented by additional articles and reflections. Each group meeting will include discussion, experiential exercises, and reflection in small groups on what these precepts mean for us as human beings and students of Zen.

In between meetings students will be invited to reflect on how the precept in focus shows up in their life and will asked to do some kind of active response. This response would be written, artistic or verbal. At each meeting a new assignment for the next month will be offered by the teacher of that month’s group.

Students will also be paired with a study partner and asked to connect at least once in between group meetings. The pairing could be with another member of the Precepts Group, a senior student, or a practice leader or teacher. This is similar in format to the mentoring program but more flexible in the pairing. The pair could be peer-peer or more teacher-student in nature.

More on receiving Jukai

For those it suits this is a wonderful step and provides the student with a focus and structure in practice also also offers the sangha support and nourishment through the student’s publicly made commitment to practice and precepts.

If you’re interested in in receiving jukai: you must receive permission from a sangha teacher. Speak either to Spiritual Director Tim Burnett or to one of our practice leaders who have been shuso and are authorized to do some teaching: John Wiley, Edie Norton, Talus, Bob Penny, and Chris Burkhart.

To clarify: in addition to attending the Precept Study Group and receiving permission from a sangha teacher, in order to move towards jukai you should also be meeting with a sangha teacher to discuss your process of engaging with the precepts privately in Practice Discussion or Dokusan.

And it’s important to note that it’s wonderful and complete to study the precepts without approaching jukai and that receiving jukai and wearing the rakusu is not a requirement (or a blanket recommendation) in our sangha. It’s a choice and a discernment to be made with a teacher.

Full Schedule and Readings

Not that the facilitator for that month may ask us to emphasize some readings more than other and may also provide supplemental readings. Please come to each study group having done the reading for that meeting.

Diane Rizzetto, Waking Up to What you Do
Robert Aitken, Mind of Clover
Reb Anderson, Being Upright

Meeting 1 - Monday March 7th, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Topic: Meeting the Precepts
Readings: Rizetto chapters 1 - 4, Aitken chapter 1, Anderson chapter 8.

Meeting 2 - Monday April 11, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Topic: Wise Speech (precepts 4 & 6)
Readings: Rizzetto chapters 5 & 6, Aitken chapters 5 & 7, Anderson chapters 16 & 18.

Meeting 3 - Monday May 2, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Topic: Self & Other (precept 7)
Readings: Rizzetto chapter 7, Aitken chapter 6, Anderson chapter 19

Meeting 4 - Monday June 6, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Topic: Clear Mind (precept 5)
Readings: Rizzetto chapter 9, Aitken chapter 6, Anderson chapter 17

Meeting 5 - Monday July 11, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Topic: Giving & Receiving (precepts 2 & 8)
Readings: Rizzetto chapter 9, Aitken chapters 3 & 9, Anderson chapters 14 & 20

Meeting 6 - Monday August 1, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Topic: Loving Sexuality (precept 3)
Readings: Rizzetto chapter 10, Aitken chapter 4, Anderson chapter 15

Meeting 7 - Monday September 12, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Topic: Turning Anger & Violence (precepts 9 & 1)
Readings: Rizzetto chapters 11 & 12, Aitken chapters 4 & 2, Anderson chapters 21 & 13

Meeting 8 - Monday October 10th, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Topic: The Path of the Three Treasures
Readings: Rizetto Conclusion, Aitken chapter 11, Anderson chapters 1 & 22 (optionally 2 - 7).

Precepts Retreat - one day retreat and Jukai Precepts Ceremony.
Saturday October 29th,  6am - 5pm (ceremony at 3pm).

Please use the registration form at the left to RSVP if you intend to come to study group.

www.RedCedarZen.org     360-389-3444     registrar@redcedarzen.org
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