ACROSS THE SEA OF SUFFERING
A BOAT OF VOWS
In the spring of
1977, Sramanera Heng Ch'au, then still a layperson, made vows before the
Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Venerable Master, and great assembly at Gold Mountain
1. To repay the
kindness of my parents, my teachers, and the Venerable Master, I vow to cut off
attachments and marks of self, to constantly maintain a resolve for Bodhi, to
study all Dharma-doors, and to transfer any merit and virtue to the entire
family of living beings.
2. I vow to
recite the Great Compassion Mantra 108 times daily.
3. I vow never
to sleep while sitting in meditation.
4. I vow to
memorize and recite the Surangama Mantra daily.
5. I further
resolve to practice the following:
To attend more sutra lectures regularly so as to better understand and better
speak the Buddhadharma.
To sleep no more than six hours a day.
To vigorously hold and maintain the five and the eight lay precepts and the ten
major and forty-eight minor Bodhisattva precepts.
To recite and to study these precepts twice a month.
6. I further
resolve to use whatever skills and strengths I have to maintain and to protect
the Triple Jewel and to cultivate the Bodhisattva Way with body, mouth, and
7. I vow to cut
off all false thinking, outflows, and attachments, especially of self, and to
bring forth a vajra body and mind.
8. I vow that
all these vows will be fulfilled and that any merit and virtue will be
transferred so that all living beings can end suffering and return to our
original, awakened Buddha-nature.