Sojong Ceremony to Repair Broken Precepts

Tulku Thubten Rinpoche, October 4, 2000



Sojong is about reflecting on oneself and on one's habitual tendencies (bakchak). It’s about seeing how our thoughts and actions arise out of our habitual tendencies. As we become increasingly mindful and aware of habitual tendencies such as hope, fear, doubt, sorrow, mindlessness, anger, depression, impatience, anxiety, and so forth, we will begin to awaken to our natural state of inner freedom and clarity – our true Buddha nature. 

1) Preparation: Set up a small shrine with an image or representation of Buddha (picture, statue, photo in book, etc.).

2) Taking refuge: ‘In the Buddha I take refuge. In the Dharma I take refuge. In the Sangha I take refuge.’

3) Generating bodhicitta: ‘Through this practice, may I quickly awaken to my stainless, true Buddha Nature. May countless beings benefit.’

4) Invocation: ‘I invoke as my eternal, infallible and true witness all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the timeless three times.’

5) Reflection: Search your mind for any vow(s) you may have recently broken and feel regret for these lapses in mindfulness. With the full compassion of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas as your inner light and strength, quietly hold in the arms of your awareness the thousands of habitual tendencies that seem to define you. Look deeply into their nature. See that their source is the ego’s persistent but ultimately futile attempt to assert its existence. The only way to awaken from this delusional state is to cultivate a continuous state of mindful awareness so that habitual tendencies are instantly recognized and liberated the moment they arise.

6) Vows: ‘With great reverence for my own purity and the purity of others, I affirm and vow to all the Buddhas and Boddhisattvas that I shall refrain from killing, I shall refrain from stealing, I shall refrain from false speech, I shall refrain from sexual misconduct, and I shall refrain from intoxicants (drugs and alcohol). I also vow to become more and more mindful with each passing day, to more firmly uphold my vows, and to each day strengthen my commitment to this exquisite Path.’

7) Dedication of merit: ‘I dedicate the combined merit of this and all Sojong practice, individually, to each and every sentient being equal with space.’