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Jukai is formally becoming a Zen Buddhist. People take jukai after some years of practicing with the community, establishing a relationship with one of the teachers, and taking part in sesshin.

The foundation of the jukai is taking on the Sixteen Bodhisattva Vows at a ceremony witnessed by the community. These vows are the intention to live ethically and serve as best we can.

People who take jukai wear a rakusu, a hand-sewn miniature version of the Buddha’s robe, as an outward reminder of their vows. They also receive a Dharma name.

A person who takes jukai has clarified that Zen Community of Oregon is their community of practice, commit to study with the teachers, and that Zen Buddhism is their primary path of practice.


Five Precepts
Receiving the five precepts along with the prerequisite classes, sewing a wagessa, and public ceremony.

By taking jukai you are joining this particular Zen lineage and receiving the precepts from Chozen, Roshi or Hogen, Roshi, so having an ongoing regular practice connection with one or both of them is important.

Participation in a facitilated class on the Sixteen Precepts. Classes are offered at Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple and Great Vow Zen Monastery.

Robes and Lineage class
A class session on our particular Zen lineage, key teachers, and the symbolism of the robe and rakusu.

Completion of at least one full seven-day sesshin (silent meditation retreat) at Great Vow Zen Monastery.

Precepts writing
Writing about your understanding of each of the Sixteen Precepts as embodied in daily life as well as areas of further inquiry.

Lineage chart
Before jukai each person copies the traditional lineage chart (Jp. kechimyaku), an ancient practice of listing all 82 generations of teacher-ancestors going back to Shakyamuni Buddha, who have brought the teachings through space and time to us.

Sew a rakusu
Each person sews a rakusu. People in the community can help since for many this is one of the only things they've ever sewn. Instructions for sewing the rakusu can be found In Resources.


For more information about jukai, contact the Director of Training at the monastery.