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Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Two Sides of Precepts

Our inmost nature can help us observe precepts. When we understand our precepts as the expression of our inmost nature, that is the way as it is. Then there are no precepts. When we are expressing our inmost nature, precepts are not necessary, so we are not observing any precepts. But on the other hand we have the opposite nature, so we want to observe our precepts, or we feel we have to observe them. We feel the necessity of precepts will help us, and when we are helped by precepts that is also the blossoming of our true nature. So when we understand precepts in this negative or prohibitory sense that is also an expression of our true nature. So precepts observation has two sides. One is negative and the other side is positive. And we have a choice of how to observe them.

—Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-29 - as found on edited by PF. Go to or for links to the full Shunryu Suzuki lecture and the source of the photo.