Jukai Study (Lay Ordination)
Jukai means “to receive the precepts.” It is an initiation into the Zen Buddhist community. In Jukai, you receive the rakusu, which represents the robe of the Buddha, the kechyimyaku (lineage papers), connecting you to the lineage of people who practiced in the past, and a dharma name, representing qualities of your practice.
Jukai is also called “taking refuge.” In Jukai, you take refuge in the sixteen bodhisattva precepts, composed of the three refuges, the three pure precepts and the ten grave precepts.
The jukai ceremony is a public confirmation of one’s life as the life of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. We empower and are empowered by the teacher and the lineage. Witnessed by the Sangha (community), we enter the family of the Buddha.
Receiving Jukai is a commitment to your own practice, to the sangha and to your vows. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are committing to one root teacher at this time. If you go on to ordain as a priest, you receive new lineage papers.
Jukai (Lay Ordination) is open to people who:
Practice regularly with the Sangha.
Form a relationship with one of the teachers by attending a class, sesshin, or retreats and speaking privately to one of them regarding your motivations.
Have taken the Intro to Zazen series (self, community, awakening and path) or equivalent.
Are willing to make an ongoing commitment to the Sangha through various volunteer service positions that are appropriate to one’s life circumstances.