The two means and two ways of making confession/contrition isn’t spoken of that often so I thought I’d highlight this and make reference here. What is written below comes from the early part of the talk in which I talk about the Sange Ceremony.
Here is a verse from the Lay Ordination ceremony:
If you want to be converted to the Precepts you should first make confession. Even though in confession there are two means and two ways, there is a confession verse that has been kept by the Buddhas. Recite the verse after me for, when you do so truly, all your past wrong-doings will cease to affect you.
Vow and repentance (contrition) are two sides of the single practice of zazen. Here is a quote from Living by Vow, by Shohaku Okumura pages 56-57. This verse, in translation, is from the Samantabhadra Sutra. Samantabhadra Bodhisattva represents unconditional love.
The ocean of karmic hindrances arises solely from delusive thoughts. If you wish to make repentance (confession), sit in an upright posture and be mindful of the true reality. All misdemeanors, like frost and dew, are melted away in the sun of wisdom.
Quoting again from Living by Vow:
In this repentance, we do not actually say something like, I’m sorry because of this or that specific mistake. Rather, our zazen is itself repentance.
The cleansing of our karmic hindrances, which arise solely from delusive thoughts, melts away.
One thought on “The Sange Ceremony – Contrition and Conversion”
Thank you. So helpful. 🙏🏽