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The Five Precepts

May 1, 2016 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

revsunimOn Sunday mornings Rev. Hye Wol Sunim gives a dhamma talk and answers questions to provide a detailed an in-depth explanation of the Buddha’s teachings from the standpoint of the meditative practitioner. The intention of these sessions is to support a deepening of one’s practice through an exploration of the discourses of the Buddha. Rev. Sunim brings his depth of experience in both Theravadan (vipassana) and Mahayana (zen) traditions to an understanding of dhamma practice. The teaching today will focus on taking refuge and precepts. The talk and Q&A will explain these practices and ceremony and will prepare participants for taking refuge and precepts in celebration of the Buddha’s birthday. The Five Precepts (Pali: pañca-sīla; Sanskrit: pañca-śīla) constitute the basic Buddhist code of ethics, undertaken by lay followers of the Buddha in the Theravada and Mahayana traditions. The Five Precepts are commitments to abstain from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and intoxication. Undertaking the five precepts is part of both lay Buddhist initiation and regular lay Buddhist devotional practices. The Buddha is said to have taught the five precepts out of compassion, and for the betterment of society. Thus they are to be undertaken voluntarily rather than as commandments from a god. The precepts are intended to help us live free from remorse so we can progress more easily on the Path. In ceremonies, we take the Three Refuges in the Three Jewels and are said to “take refuge.”

    The Three Jewels refer to

  • the Buddha;
  • the Dharma, the teachings;
  • the Sangha, the dharma community.

The “Precepts Ceremony” includes “taking refuge” and the 5 lay Buddhist precepts. Taking refuge involves the following verses to be recited 3 times prior to taking the Five Precepts.

  1. I go to the Buddha for refuge.
  2. I go to the Dhamma for refuge.
  3. I go to the Sangha for refuge.

The Five Precepts are:

  1. To refrain from destroying living creatures.
  2. To refrain from taking that which is not given.
  3. To refrain from sexual misconduct.
  4. To refrain from incorrect speech.
  5. To refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs.

Rev. Hye Wol Sunim was first ordained in Sri Lanka in 1977 and took robes in the Korean Zen tradition in 1984. Rev Sunim studied with Buddhist masters in Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Australia, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. He arrived in the US in 1991. He translates Pali texts and teaches the early Pali canon. Rev. Sunim founded the Meditation Center for Zen Communities and has a meditation Center in Pearblossom, California. Rev. Sunim is the guiding dhamma teacher for LA Dharma and The Insight Center. Sutta Sundays include 2 periods of meditation, a dhamma talk and a Q&A period. Use this link to access our Sutta Study Resource page. All are welcome. Please use this link to register.  By registering we can more easily email you readings and information related to our Sunday Meditation. There is no charge, donations are accepted. Tea and water are provided. Please note that we do not meet on national and religious holiday weekends.


May 1, 2016
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Michael Shiffman, Ph.D.


The Insight Center
1404 Greenfield Ave.
Los Angeles,CA90025
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