Getting Ready for Jukai


People who know me well understand what a big deal it is for me to commit to something, especially anything smacking of religion, but next week I’m going to be taking the precepts (jukai) at Shasta Abbey.

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time and finally decided to formally make a move by joining in the Abbey’s yearly “keeping of the ten precepts” retreat. It doesn’t mean I’m aligning myself with Shasta Abbey or even with Zen Buddhism, just that I’m making a more formal commitment to Buddhism.

Since it’s a path that seems to be helping me, it feels like the right thing to do. And, like Buddhism, I can’t really find any argument with the ten precepts. They’re all about living more consciously, being more present in the world.

Maybe I’m seeing such a clear difference in how I’m reacting–or not reacting to life, that I want to hold onto whatever this is. For one, my trademark worry seems to have evaporated. Somehow I seem to get by every month whether I worry about it or not. My kids will be who they are regardless of how much I worry. So I don’t.

Emotions are strange things. For a long time they ruled me, yet I wasn’t particularly happy. When I learned that we could choose our emotions, they don’t just happen to us, it seemed like the strangest thing I could imagine. But I liked the thought, so tried it. And, over time, something does seem to shift inside. I still feel the same emotions, but don’t indulge in them the way i used to. Making my point, or being “right isn’t important the way it once was.I’m even willing to move past my aversion to this thing called religion and take a step further into this new world that seems to offer something.

2 thoughts on “Getting Ready for Jukai

  1. HI Jordan,
    I admire the transformation you speak of in your inner self–and congratuations on taking this step. After all this time in Bhutan among the Buddhists, I still have a hard time with that part of me that thinks it can control what happens to me. A friend here recently commented: “In Bhutan, things are just as likely to happen as they are not to happen.” I try to remember that each day–it’s all 50/50. But still, it’s hard.

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