A vow is solemn promise, a promise to do something specified.

I really love vows….theres just something about committing, narrowing my mind into a sharp focus… rigorously practicing something until I really get it.. keeping my word and sticking with it over and over and over again thru up’s and downs…  It ALWAYS leads me to the center of things.. to a place that was better than when I began.

I think a vow is intimately personal, but defining one really matters.  We all need something to hold onto, to wake up and commit to doing everyday.  That’s how we grow and deepen.

Variations of “the four great vows” 

However innumerable beings are, I vow to save them;

However inexhaustible the passions are, I vow to extinguish them;

However immeasurable the Dharmas are, I vow to master them;

However incomparable the Buddha-truth is, I vow to attain it.


Sentient beings are numberless. We vow to save them all.
Delusions are endless. We vow to cut through them all.
The teachings are infinite. We vow to learn them all.
The Buddha Way is inconceivable. We vow to attain it.


Beings are numberless, I vow to save them

Desires are inexhaustible, I vow to end them

Dharma gates are boundless, I vow to enter them

Buddha’s way is unsurpassable, I vow to become it.


Sentient beings are innumerable I vow to liberate them all

Defilements are endless I vow to eliminate them all

Buddha’s teachings are unlimited I vow to learn them all

The ways of enlightenment are supreme I vow to achieve them all