According to Zen master Bassui (1327–1387) the failure to see into our true nature, thus maintaing a deluded mind, is breaking the five precepts. Of especial interest is the first precept, which is the precept not to take away life (prânâtipâta). According to Bassui:
“The power from seeing into your own nature will extinguish all delusion and bring life to Buddha-nature. This is the precept not to kill living things” (trans. Arthur Braverman).
On the other hand, by failing to realize Buddha Mind; being more interested in keeping a deluded mind in the belief it is otherwise, this is killing our own Buddha Mind or Buddha-nature. In this sense we are natural born killers who are attached to the psychophysical body (skandhas) which the Buddha equates with a killer (S. iii. 189).
Lacking insight into our true nature, everyday becomes a day of killing for us since we are attached to a killing machine which obstructs our ability to see the deathless Buddha Mind which gives life (prânâ).