As reported on Buddhadharma News Wednesday night, California Governor Jerry Brown, in noting the victory of the state’s Prop. 30, evoked one of Zen’s Four Vows.
Via the Los Angeles Times: “Desires are endless. I vow to cut them down,” Brown said, when asked how he would maintain the discipline “not to go on any spending binges.” As the Times notes, Brown recited that vow nightly when he was living at a Zen monastery in Japan in the 1980s.
But what are the Four Vows? The late Sensei Sandra Jishu Holmes explains them in her teaching, “I Vow.” Click through here to read more.
When we take the precepts of a Bodhisattva, with every one we say, “I Vow.” What does this mean? The vow exists on both the absolute plane and on the relative plane. Bodhisattvas make a public announcement that they have raised the bodhi mind in the form of the Four Great Vows and the Sixteen Precepts.
I vow to liberate all beings.
I vow to cut down all desires.
I vow to study and practice well to master the Dharma.
I vow to realize the Supreme Way.
And, of course, don’t miss, “A Greater Happiness,” Pema Chodron’s look at the vows of the bodhisattva-warrior, from our current, November magazine.