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Oct 02
Dharma Teachings, Sakyong and Family
Taking Refuge

On the Path. Photo courtesy of Margaret Clark.

On the Path. Photo courtesy of Margaret Clark.

By Sakyong Mipham

The Tibetan word for refuge means “to be protected by.” Every day we wake up and tacitly take refuge in something that we think will offer us security and protection. Most of the time we put our poker chip on the little thing that says “desire.” We spend our time chasing worldly gains. We take refuge in comfort, in having things, in being busy.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with external pleasures, when we believe that our happiness depends on them, we’re reinforcing a circular and endless process that results in pain, suffering, and disillusionment. This is called samsara. We work hard for what we think we want and when we get it, we don’t feel the happiness we expected.

In formally becoming Buddhists we take refuge in the three jewels: the Buddha, the dharma, and the sangha.

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1 response to “ Taking Refuge ”
  1. Buddhist monks take pratimoksa vows, of which there are two hundred fifty-three. But ngagpas, with their tantric vows and the samayas [commitments], there are a hundred thousand they have to keep in their mental level. It’s about practice in every single moment to keep all this and not engage in non-virtuous things.

    – The Venerable Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche (1921- C.E.)

    If you keep your refuge vows, then all three vows—pratimoksha, bodhisattva and vajrayana—are subsumed there.

    – The Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche (1924- C.E.)

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