Suzuki Shosan, the samurai who became a zen monk in the 1600s in Japan, said that there were five points in Buddhist practice.
He listed five reasons why we should engage in the Dharma. I think these five points are relevant for us today.
Shosan’s Five Points for Buddhist Practice:
1) Usefulness in society
2) Upholding the precepts
3) Separating the self from personal views and experiencing oneness.
4) Freeing the mind from attachment to objects
5) Destruction of evil passions.
I’ll examine these one at a time.
Usefulness in society
Conquering your delusions and transforming yourself helps everyone. If we demonstrate that delusions can be overcome then we are setting an example for others. Not only that, but as we strengthen our compassion, we are helping others and trying to build a more compassionate society.
Upholding the Precepts
The precepts help us control any tendency to twist and distort the teachings. The mind naturally becomes virtuous through Buddhist practice if we follow the precepts and try to live a morally upstanding life.
Separating the self from personal views and experiencing oneness.