Putting Forth Not One Word


As we headed into our week-long retreat, DaiJukai, or “Great Jukai” (Giving and Receiving of the Buddhist Precepts), Seido talked about how we understand the study and practice of ethical action in Zen. She particularly focused on one of the ten grave precepts – Do Not Speak Dishonestly – Communicate Truthfully – and its commentary:

In the realm of the inexplicable Dharma, putting forth not one word is the precept of not speaking dishonestly. The Dharma wheel turns from the beginning. There is neither surplus nor lack. The sweet dew covers the earth and within it lies the truth.

How do we uphold this precept amidst complicated social interactions? What does it mean to speak truthfully when our view is naturally limited? How does this precept inform us about all other precepts?

Debra Seido Martin