ACROSS THE SEA OF SUFFERING
IN A BOAT OF VOWS
On May 13, 1976, Shramanera Heng Lai, in the presence of the entire Avatamsaka Assembly, went before the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and the Master, and made the following vows:
The first vow is, for this life and for all future lives, I vow to cultivate patience and destroy anger.
The second vow is, in this life and in all future lives, to never speak in a derogatory manner about anybody, even in a light and humorous way.
The third vow is, so that I may be of use in propagating the Buddhadharma in the future, to thoroughly understand the teachings and, of most importance, to learn the proper method of speaking Dharma, so that I don't interject my own stupid ideas about things. This is very, very important, in my thinking, beyond anything else a person can do who has left home.
The fourth vow, for this life and all future lives, I vow to bow to every word in the Flower Garland Sutra, bowling for at least one hour each day.
The fifth vow is, for this life and all future lives, to bow the Great Compassion Repentance every day.
The sixth vow is, in this life and all future lives, to thoroughly understand and penetrate the Dharma of the Forty-two Hands, most especially the thirty-eighth, the Non-Retreating Gold Wheel Hand.
The seventh vow is, in this life and all future lives, to walk, stand, and sit in an upright posture, so that I may have a mind that is not confused and does not constantly dwell in desire, sexual desire and other such desires.
The eighth vow is, in this life and all future lives, I vow to never lie down.
The ninth vow is, in order to stop this greed mind and its reoccupation with fine tastes which generates overeating and laxity and stupor throughout the day, I vow to only eat one meal a day at noon, for this life and all future lives, and for three years from this day forward to only eat raw foods.
The tenth is I vow, in this life and all future lives, so that I may cure this sexual desire mind, to abstain totally from all dairy products, milk, cheese, butter in particular, and all coffee for its overt stimulating effects."