I'm sitting with a bunch of people (and have been for quite a while now), and I want to deepen my practice. I want to make a commitment, primary to myself, to stay on track and want to take Jukai (refuge).
Our group is quite heterogeneous and a mere "sitting group". Our common denominator is Soto-Style Zen, but we are lay, lay-ordained people, and monks. Some style themselves Buddhist, other Christian.
We have no common teacher, head temple, center or any authority on site. That leaves me with a few options, all a few hours driving away from here, to commit to a master.
First there is the teacher of most/all of our lay-ordained members. Naturally, that would be the prominent choice, but that would be logistically the most challenging one.
Then there is a temple, which is nearer, but not so closely coupled to our group. That would be a more convenient choice.
Last there would be a main temple of the all over arcing organisation, the both former options are incorporated. But that one is a longer drive, again, and it is the most "unpersonal" option, since it is an higher organisation.
I want to make the commitment more for my self. From my point of view, my shanga is my local group. I would want to get to know a teacher quite well, before I would choose him for a monk ordination. But with Jukai, as a first step, I won't consider it that important.
- Who can actually gives Jukai? Who's entitled to?
- What is the dogmatic consequence, exactly (link is sufficient)?
- How deep are the bonds between the one giving Jukai and the one receiving it?
- How to ask for Jukai?
- How to prepare for that event?
- Any other points, I may miss and should think about?
Edit 2015/10/30, after Andreis Answer:
His answer moves into the direction of "taking refuge in the three nobles truths". I realize, that I'm already taking refuge on a regular basis by chanting the Shigu seigan mon (The Four Bodhisattva Vows).
Therefore I changed title and tag back to Jukai. I want to focus the question on Soto-Style Jukai as a lay-ordination with committing to the 10 precepts to reinforce my practice.
PS: I want to thank Chris for the proof-reading. English is not my first tongue and I am constantly make mistakes while writing, unable to see them myself.