Ryaku Fusatsu (Full Moon Ceremony)
Ryaku Fusatsu is a bowing and chanting ceremony traditionally held monthly on the evening of the full moon. At SSZ, we observe this ceremony on the Tuesday evening closest to the full moon.
This tradition started in the time of the Buddha, when the monks would gather on the night of the full moon to renew their vows. Our version includes recommitting ourselves to the sixteen bodhisattva precepts. This is Norman Fischer’s version of the precepts:
The Threefold Refuges
I take refuge in Buddha (the principle of enlightenment within).
I take refuge in dharma (the enlightened way of understanding and living).
I take refuge in sangha (the community of beings).
I vow to avoid all action that creates suffering
I vow to do all action that creates true happiness.
I vow to act with others always in mind.
Not to kill but to nurture life.
Not to steal but to receive what is offered as a gift.
Not to misuse sexuality but to be caring and faithful in intimate relationships.
Not to lie but to be truthful.
Not to intoxicate with substances or doctrines but to promote clarity and awareness.
Not to speak of others’ faults but to speak out of loving-kindness.
Not to praise self at the expense of others but to be modest.
Not to be possessive of anything but to be generous.
Not to harbor anger but to forgive.
Not to do anything to diminish the Triple Treasure but to support and nurture it.
Shunryu Suzuki said this about the Full Moon Ceremony: “[T]o purify our mind and to keep Buddha’s way, we will observe Fusatsu.” He also said, “So to have good practice means to have good precept observation. Why it is so—is better not to think about. This is something to realize by your true practice.”
The ceremony will take place after our first period of zazen, which begins at 6:15 PM.