Precepts Study Group

Event Details

This event finished on 24 April 2020

A 11-week class led by Laura O’Loughlin

Friday evenings: January 31 – April 24
Class Dates: 1/31, 2/7, 2/14, 2/21, 2/28, 3/6, 3/13, 3/27, 4/3, 4/17, 4/24
Class time: optional zazen from 6:30 to 7pm, class from 7:15 to 8:45pm

Precepts Study Group

Our Bodhisattva vow to live for the benefit of all beings is an awe-inspiring request. It can also feel far out of reach — for ourselves, for our communities and for the world. Thankfully, our Buddhist ancestors passed down to us sixteen ethical teachings, know as the Bodhisattva precepts, that clarify how an aspiring Bodhisattva moves through the world.

The practice of the precepts offers us a way to navigate every moment in a way that realigns us with our collective vow. Over time we develop faith that each small, intentional action can positively affect life. Precept practice offers us a way to work with collective karma so that histories of harm can be transformed into healing potential. When viewed from the truth of interdependence, the precepts teach us, as Reb Anderson writes, “how to protect and bring the spirit of compassion to complete maturity and enter all aspects of our lives.” Choosing to live as the precepts is a choice to live as an undivided heart.

This class will be a group discussion on the precepts, exploring these ethical teachings by studying and practicing them through our lived experience and what unfolds between us. We will be looking at the precepts with a recognition of the intersections of individual, interpersonal, collective and ancestral perspectives. With an understanding that we come to community with histories of oppression and privilege, our discussions will be firmly grounded in both our precept practice and our community guidelines.

This class is limited to 20 participants. Participation is by permission of the instructor. If you would like to attend this class, please email no later than January 15th.  Class participation is dependent upon sitting regularly in community at Brooklyn Zen Center and by being willing to honestly, compassionately, and courageously explore our karmic and dharmic inheritances in a shared setting.

Class Fee: $260 Sustaining / $190 Base / $145 for BZC members (more than 3 months)

Please note our cancellation policy for this offering: To request a refund for this class, you must notify BZC in writing by the start of the first class. Refunds will be issued in the total paid less a $15 processing fee. Please note that there are no refunds for events with registration fees under $50. This policy supports the organizing effort involved in managing registrations and cancellations and the largely volunteer-based structure of the Brooklyn Zen Center. Please see our complete cancellation policy here.

About Laura O’Loughlin

Laura O’Loughlin is a dharma teacher and senior lay practitioner at Brooklyn Zen Center, as well as its co-founder. Before she began training with Teah Strozer, Laura was a student of Darlene Cohen’s. She is currently a psychotherapist, affiliated with the Buddhist Psychotherapy Collective, with her own practice in Manhattan. As a clinician, Laura uses mindfulness and body-oriented practices to support healing and transformation. Before co-founding Brooklyn Zen Center, Laura had trained and lived in various Buddhist communities since 1997, including Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery and San Francisco Zen Center. Laura was also Director of Austin Zen Center, where among other things she studied the interface between eastern and western psychologies. Laura received lay dharma entrustment from Teah Strozer in 2017.

Access Notes: There is one short flight of stairs leading to the Carroll Street entrance of the building; please press 3-0 to be buzzed in. From there, the center is located at the top of a longer flight of stairs. A ramp and elevator are available via an alternate entrance on President Street; please email us in advance if you need access to the ramp. Chairs, benches, and extra support cushions are available. We are not yet a fragrance-free space; our hand soap is scented with essential oils. Visit our Accessibility Page for more detailed access info. If you have any additional questions about accessibility, please contact us at