To take responsibility empowers you to do something about whatever it is that's hindering you. As long as we blame, as long as we avoid or deny, we are removed from the realm of possibility and power to do something about our lives. We become totally dependent upon the ups and downs that we create around us. There is no reason that we should be subjected to anything when we have the power to see that we create and we destroy all things. To acknowledge that simple fact is to take possession of the precepts. It is to make the precepts your own. It is to give life to the Buddha, to this great earth and to the universe itself.


From The Heart of Being: Moral and Ethical Teachings of Zen Buddhism, by John Daido Loori Roshi. Copyright © 1996 by Dharma Communications.