Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Lesson 3 - Taking Refuge in the Triple Jewels

Refuge in the Triple Jewels

It is not a necessity to take "formal" refuge to practice Buddhism, although I would not discourage it. Most Buddhist take refuge daily as a part of their practice. When you sit down to meditate visualize the enlightened beings sitting in front of you and "take refuge" in the Three Jewels: the Buddha (a note of explanation here the word "Buddha" means "enlightened being" which includes the future Buddha you will become), the Dharma (the teachings of the Buddha) and the Sangha (the community of Buddhist practitioners). Taking refuge is a doorway to becoming a Buddhist, you can think of your refuge practice as acknowledging your desire to avoid what is negative, cultivate what is positive, and watch your mind.

Actual Refuge Practice

Sit for meditation with back straight and with a compassionate focus
Visualize Buddha (or other enlightened being) sitting in front of you
Take refuge by saying this simple prayer three times

"Until I am enlightened,
I go for refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
Through the virtue I create by practicing giving and the other perfections,
may I become enlightened to benefit all sentient beings."

Say this prayer three times in the morning and three times in the evening each day.

When you recite the Triple Jewel prayer you will take refuge in the spiritual development that grows in you.

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