Robert Aitken Roshi’s Ten Grave Precepts of Zen Buddhism

The Ten Precepts of Zen Buddhism are:

01. no killing
02. no stealing
03. no misuse of sex
04. no lying
05. no dealing in drugs
06. no speaking of faults of others
07. no praising yourself while abusing others
08. no sparing the Dharma assets
09. no indulgence in anger
10. no defaming the Three Treasures – Buddha, Dharma and Sangha

From Sydney Zen Centre: The Ten Grave Precepts

“The Ten Precepts formulate the realisation of inherent good. This is not the opposite of bad but rather it is self nature, Buddha-nature. The Precepts are a guide from self-centred delusion and attachment to the Buddha’s own complete realisation of truth and compassion, pointing the way to our own Buddha nature.”

Robert Aitken Roshi’s extensive elucidation of the Ten Grave Precepts may be found here at

This evening I have been sitting Zazen contemplating the precepts.  I am contemplating adoption of these ten precepts as the rules by which I govern my behaviour and conduct.

My belief is that committing oneself to the Dharma and joining a Sangha are not steps to be taken without serious contemplation.

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