The practice of taking and keeping the eight Mahayana precepts
The practice of taking and keeping the eight Mahayana precepts is a special practice of moral discipline that is performed with bodhichitta motivation. The essence of the practice is to take eight precepts and to keep them purely for a period of twenty-four hours. By doing this practice again and again we acquaint ourself with the practice of moral discipline and thereby make our human life meaningful.
We receive many great benefits from practising moral discipline in this way. It helps us to solve the problems of this life by avoiding the causes of suffering; and it creates the cause for us to take fortunate rebirths in future lives and thereby protects us from the sufferings of lower rebirth. In particular, because it is performed with bodhichitta motivation, this practice is very powerful for purifying negative karma. It accumulates a vast collection of merit and creates the cause for us to attain the unsurpassed happiness of enlightenment.
We first need to receive these precepts from a qualified Preceptor, and then we can take them on our own as often as we wish. Instructions on both these methods are included in this sadhana. If we wish to take the essence of this precious human life we should strive to engage in this practice as often as we can.