Lately, I had been struggling with the desire to be a part of the upcoming Jukai at my sangha. I am not ready for it. But something inside me feels impatient with having to wait 6 months until I can begin the process of studying the precepts and sewing my rakusu. My teacher, Jundo, having supernatural mind-reading powers (just-kidding), instantly perceived my struggle and without provocation commented:
"The real "Jukai" is just each moment when we act so as to avoid harm to self and others (not two, by the way), and in ways healthful and beneficial to self-others, and to learn from the Buddhist Teachings. The ceremony is just a celebration of that fact."
This instantly reassured me and brought my mind to peace. Everyday is a new opportunity to learn and deepen my practice. I have been studying Buddhism now for over five years and am constantly amazed at how much I have to grow. May I always have a beginner's mind, even if I try desperately not to.