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Trust Me I'm Buddha AKA "Taking Refuge in the Three Jewels"

ShoshinShoshin No one in particularNowhere Special Veteran

During the Dharma Talk last weekend, the teacher spoke of taking refuge in the Buddha Dharma & Sangha and how they should always be at the forefront of our minds as we go about our daily lives...

Like many here I took refuge many moons ago, and I renewed my (for want of a better term) pledge again on that weekend...

However what I took from the teaching is, to truly have an understanding (experiential understanding) of taken refuge is to apply Dharma practice always... in a times of peace of mind and in times of a troubled mind ....We have true faith/trust in the Buddha and his teachings...It's why we take refuge....and not just paying them lip service....

I guess more so this means letting go of old habitual behaviour pattern negative automatic thoughts that feed a negative mind, such as ones of hate,anger, frustration ill will, and so on...

Taking refuge...What does it mean for/to you?

AlexDhammika

Comments

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Personally I find the sanctified is improved by the postscript, 'only joking'
    For example:

    The body of Christ ('only joking')

    lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāh, muḥammadun rasūlu-llāh
    There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God. ('only joking')

    I take refuge in the Buddha.
    I take refuge in the Dharma.
    I take refuge in the Sangha.
    ('only joking')

    ... I think I went wrong again ... :3
    https://cundi.weebly.com/crazies.html

    KeromeAlexShoshinRowan1980
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited April 1

    Oh lobster, I’m surprised your crazies page doesn’t reference Chogyam Trungpa or Drukpa Kunley. For the rest, I wholly agree with the ‘only joking’ part! Sanctified things ought not to be taken too seriously...

    On the refuges, I like to return to them sometimes in the Pali, like so:

    Buddham saranam gacchāmi
    Dhammam saranam gacchāmi
    Sangham saranam gacchāmi

    I think I first chanted them in Osho’s commune in Oregon, back in the early 1980’s. That was in the Buddha Hall in Rajneeshpuram, a place the size of a football stadium which would be filled with followers of Osho all chanting the Refuge in Pali.

    AlexadamcrossleyShoshin
  • AlexAlex Explorer Explorer
    edited April 1

    I’m twitchy about ritual, particularly in an organised setting, because my personal feeling is that the ‘organisation’ (whatever that may be, from a Triratna Sangha Mitra ceremony through to Methodist Communion, from a Baptism to a Karate Belt grading ceremony) seems to need the ceremony more than an individual maybe does or should.....

    In saying that, I have taken refuge personally and privately, in a personal ritual that @federica put on here some time ago and like Federica, I think there’s a grounding and recalibration element to it which I like. I just don’t feel that I need to play to a public gallery re a ceremony around this stuff as it’s ultimately about my inner space, not the outer physical World.

    My own current inner debate is which tradition to more closely align with. Taking refuge makes me a Buddhist, however, Theravāda and Zen seem to be a little different and whilst I could take the best from both traditions, that also clouds my mind a little where I feel simplicity would be more beneficial, so I’m currently pursuing both until clarity descends as to which branch I’ll hang on to....but I’ll continue to take personal refuge regularly for my own inner life.

    adamcrossleylobsterShoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited April 1

    @Kerome said:

    On the refuges, I like to return to them sometimes in the Pali, like so:

    Buddham saranam gacchāmi
    Dhammam saranam gacchāmi
    Sangham saranam gacchāmi

    This was one of the first refuge chants that I learnt...

    I recently found this version...

    Alex
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Very much liked @federica approach.

    Grounding and different in meaning/form each time.

    Refuge means in part protection, inspiration and most importantly resonance.

    The three jewels eventually come to us. They take route in our Path.
    Which Way are we going? How do we bend? Where do we give?

    In other words:

    I guard The Three Jewels
    We are The Three Amigos
    Nothing Here but us Chickens

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited April 2

    I'm under the impression, that when it comes to the nitty gritty of taking refuge, we take refuge in our newly awakened mind ...a mind that is opening up to the Dharma... and begins to know thy so-called self .... Warts and all ....

    lobsterAlexKerome
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    @Shoshin mentions trust.

    Can we trust Buddha, Dharma and Sangha? What do they mean to us?
    This may help ...
    https://buddhaweekly.com/the-psychology-of-buddhist-prostrations-the-humble-bow-a-meaningful-method-to-connect-with-buddha-nature/

    “Excuse me while I kiss the sky”
    Bodhi Jimi Hendrix

    Alex
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    I'm under the impression, that when it comes to the nitty gritty of taking refuge, we take refuge in our newly awakened mind ...a mind that is opening up to the Dharma... and begins to know thy so-called self .... Warts and all ....

    The refuge is threefold, first an expression of faith in the process of the buddha’s enlightenment, then the vehicle of his teachings and last faith in those who follow the path. It’s quite a beautiful affirmation, and you can use it to strengthen your practice, but as @alex says I’m not sure it is strictly necessary to make one a Buddhist. Faith after all is only a relatively small facet of Buddhism. It’s interesting that the refuges make no mention of practice.

    Instead I feel that there is an underlying strength and direction to the path, that it starts with an examination of the world and one’s place in it, and proceeds to a deep introspection to see the effects of the world’s events on us. Social events but also just worldly events, which stirs up in us thoughts and emotions, some of which reveal the roots of suffering and it’s corrolary, happiness. The introspection into those events is what we call practice... I think if you do that, then really you are a Buddhist.

    Alex
  • AlexAlex Explorer Explorer

    @Kerome I don’t really have an issue with taking refuge and whether that qualifies one as a Buddhist, I’m completely ok whether someone does or doesn’t. What makes me uncomfortable is the notion that one must take refuge PUBLICLY to call oneself a Buddhist, i.e. via some organised ceremony with a branch / organisation of Buddhism. That to me smacks of the organisation seeking to control its subjects and validate its own survival.

    lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Anyone can call themselves a Buddhist (after all...talk is cheap) ...However I'm under the impression it's more about how one conducts oneself in everyday life and especially when the Dukkha shit hits the fan (as it often does ) ....(if one has taking refuge in private or in public or not taking refuge) this is when Dharma practice makes one a Buddhist....When the cap fits .....so to speak...

    Alexlobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Alex said:
    @Kerome I don’t really have an issue with taking refuge and whether that qualifies one as a Buddhist, I’m completely ok whether someone does or doesn’t. What makes me uncomfortable is the notion that one must take refuge PUBLICLY to call oneself a Buddhist, i.e. via some organised ceremony with a branch / organisation of Buddhism. That to me smacks of the organisation seeking to control its subjects and validate its own survival.

    I remember my own personal private ceremony as if it were yesterday.
    I remember also taking refuge one Vesak, at Amaravati Monastery. The hall was full of participants and the vocal buzz quite loud, and almost overwhelmingly intrusive. I almost missed that completely, it was so quick and hurried. Barely noticeable, and not a quarter as significant to me as my own Very individual occasion.

    KundoAlexlobster
  • KundoKundo Veteran Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Alex said:
    I don’t really have an issue with taking refuge and whether that qualifies one as a Buddhist, I’m completely ok whether someone does or doesn’t. What makes me uncomfortable is the notion that one must take refuge PUBLICLY to call oneself a Buddhist, i.e. via some organised ceremony with a branch / organisation of Buddhism. That to me smacks of the organisation seeking to control its subjects and validate its own survival.

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume you've come from an organised religious background - Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hindu etc. If so, you really need to drop the suspicion or hostility carried over from that towards formalities in Buddhism. It will only hinder your journey with Dharma.

    I've noticed many westerners (in general, not necessarily aimed at NB) take umbrage at "woo-woo" or any other part of Buddhism that they deem laughable, ridiculous or something else. Two things to remember:

    1 - the Buddha clearly stated to try the teachings for ourselves and not to take the Dharma on blind faith.
    2 - there is no onus on Buddhism to "prove itself" to anyone.

    Having said that - ALL paths (with maybe the exception of most neo-pagans) have some form of branches/organisation. I would suggest you just focus on the teachings and worry about labels a bit further down the track.

    _ /\ _

    Shoshinfedericaadamcrossley
  • AlexAlex Explorer Explorer
    edited April 2

    @Kundo I am new, so I hope you’ll indulge my young and impudent beginnings. I do hear what you say........but......doesn’t point 1 above, pretty much allow for rather fundamental challenge of point 2 ? (The teachings and Intent of the Buddha being more important than the organised religion which formed later....?) and also, does it not also allow for observations around the ‘organised’ nature of religion, I.e. not accepting dogma, ritual, etc., on blind faith...? Ditto the questioning of the woo-woo (!) elements you refer to. I agree with @Shoshin that it’s about behaviour, rather than observance of say, for example, Tibetan cultural ritual formed later, which may or may not really have a great deal to do with the Buddha’s intent (simplicity and kindness). Thanks, I’ll reflect on what you say and add it to my spiritual backpack for the journey ahead ?

    Shoshinlobsteradamcrossley
  • KundoKundo Veteran Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Alex said:
    I am new, so I hope you’ll indulge my young and impudent beginnings.

    No need for that, we've all been "newbies"

    I do hear what you say........but......doesn’t point 1 above, pretty much allow for rather fundamental challenge of point 2 ? (The teachings and Intent of the Buddha being more important than the organised religion which formed later....?)

    The onus is always on the seeker not the path. Buddhism is not a proselytising path so no not in this case. If I came up to you and said "XYZ is the way to be and you must follow it" then absolutely the onus is on me. But if you've sought Buddhism out, then no the onus is not on Buddhism to prove itself to you or anyone else.

    and also, does it not also allow for observations around the ‘organised’ nature of religion, I.e. not accepting dogma, ritual, etc., on blind faith...? Ditto the questioning of the woo-woo (!) elements you refer to.

    Number 1 allows you the freedom to find your own way in Buddhism. And I stated take umbrage at "woo-woo" or any other part of Buddhism that they deem laughable, ridiculous or something else. Discarding any "esoteric or supernatural" parts of Buddhism is one thing, which is fine. I was talking more about those who denigrate and make fun/condescend about it, which happens a lot. Apologies for not making that plainer.

    I agree with @Shoshin that it’s about behaviour, rather than observance of say, for example, Tibetan cultural ritual formed later, which may or may not really have a great deal to do with the Buddha’s intent (simplicity and kindness). Thanks, I’ll reflect on what you say and add it to my spiritual backpack for the journey ahead ?

    _ /\ _

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Just to let you know @Alex that you’re not alone in these things...

    @Kundo said:
    you really need to drop the suspicion or hostility carried over from that towards formalities in Buddhism.

    My background with Osho was pretty much anti any form of organised religion, and with good reason. Any kind of priesthood tend to screw around with teachings to create a job for themselves. I still tend to view any kind of formality in religion more as pageantry or a play than something to take seriously.

    I've noticed many westerners (in general, not necessarily aimed at NB) take umbrage at "woo-woo" or any other part of Buddhism that they deem laughable, ridiculous or something else.

    I’ve noticed that there are some different aspects to the ceremonial life in Buddhism. First of all respect for monastics, a lot of the ceremonies are intended to show that. This is a good thing, the monastic path is a noble one.

    Second a lot of traditions are just very old. A lot of the bowing and sitting on elevated positions are just hold-overs from another time, and because of that they don’t feel very modern.

    But the Buddha was quite scathing about what he considered woo-woo and inappropriate for monks to engage in. There is a lot in the sutras about this, for example in the Brahmajāla Sutta about the buddha’s virtue, or in the sections on wrong livelihood for monks.

    1 - the Buddha clearly stated to try the teachings for ourselves and not to take the Dharma on blind faith.

    For me this was a key point in deciding whether to continue on the Buddhist path. The saying of ehipassiko, or come and see for yourself what parts of the path hold true for you, is the point where buddhism intersects with scientific inquiry. I hold it as a guiding principle.

    Which also means there are a lot of areas of Buddhism which I take with a grain of salt: karma, rebirth, and a few others. I accept them until proven otherwise.

    Alex
  • KundoKundo Veteran Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    For me this was a key point in deciding whether to continue on the Buddhist path. The saying of ehipassiko, or come and see for yourself what parts of the path hold true for you, is the point where buddhism intersects with scientific inquiry. I hold it as a guiding principle.

    Which also means there are a lot of areas of Buddhism which I take with a grain of salt: karma, rebirth, and a few others. I accept them until proven otherwise.

    Which is valuable advice for anyone (not just newbies) to remember when evaluating Buddhism and how it will fit to them
    _ /\ _

    Alex
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Intent, alignment, trust (earned), remembrance.

    We are the Three jeweks Jewels

    The Buddha is the imperfect Perfecting
    The Dharma is the Truth of Existence and the Nature of the Path
    The Sangha is the three or more gathered inward ...

    Hallelujah Praise the ... what?

    Praiseworthy of course ...

    Alex
  • AlexAlex Explorer Explorer
    edited April 3

    “I don’t really have an issue with taking refuge and whether that qualifies one as a Buddhist, I’m completely ok whether someone does or doesn’t. What makes me uncomfortable is the notion that one must take refuge PUBLICLY to call oneself a Buddhist, i.e. via some organised ceremony with a branch / organisation of Buddhism. That to me smacks of the organisation seeking to control its subjects and validate its own survival”.

    @Kundo @Kerome Thank you both very much for your comments and guidance. As the original post was about Refuge, it was about that specific issue that I was remarking, so I am reluctant to have my remarks interpreted as potentially undermining Buddhism across the globe and all its various arms and rituals, because that is absolutely and wholly not what was intended.

    Buddhism in the UK (I cannot speak for anywhere else), seems in many cases to have been set up along traditional Church lines, with the giving and receiving of refuge being used as a gateway by the UK organisations as to whether one may view oneself as a ‘Buddhist’. This is not an assumption, it is stated clearly. This, frankly, makes little sense to me or many other UK Buddhists. If One wanted to convert to Christianity or Islam, one could do so immediately, with no ceremony at all, perhaps a modest prayer or similar. And in private and solo. It is down to the individual to define whether one is a Christian or a Muslim and nobody can challenge that, it being incumbent upon the individual to display the values on a continual basis in their everyday life. So, the suggestion (by some) that one must undertake a formal refuge ceremony to consider oneself a Buddhist, seems at odds to me with the spirit of Buddhism and indeed, would lead to Buddhism being more of a closed shop to new seekers and ‘clubby’ than other religions, which seems askew. We have an eightfold path, we have precepts, we can take refuge without a public ceremony and we can accept, embrace and follow the path and be Buddhists, regardless of the formal ceremonial aspects.

    It is this that my comments were aimed at specifically, my ‘come and see for yourself’ element does continue to question and indeed, I continue to see the stance of those organisations around this as somewhat dubious. Fortunately, with the Soto Zen tradition and Theravada traditions that I am involved with locally, neither see the formal and public refuge ceremony as a credible aspect (other traditions do) and indeed, both wholly discard this approach for a more pragmatic and “how you behave and follow the eightfold path is a more telling indicator of whether one is a Buddhist and that is down to you and you alone” approach. Which makes far more intellectual and indeed, spiritual, sense to me ??

    As far as Buddhism at large goes re ceremony, ritual, robes, etc., then I agree that Buddhism has nothing to prove to me or anyone else, but we are free to intellectually examine what is of use and value to us and put aside what isn’t. I am in no way flippant about Buddhism, nor do I take it lightly, indeed, I probably take things too seriously and think too much. No derision, no umbrage here, merely intellectual examination, as the Buddha would have wanted.

    ?

    Kundo
  • AlexAlex Explorer Explorer

    @Kerome Thanks for your comments and support ? I’m Of the same mind around the things you cover in your last remarks.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Alex said: ... Buddhism in the UK (I cannot speak for anywhere else), seems in many cases to have been set up along traditional Church lines, with the giving and receiving of refuge being used as a gateway by the UK organisations as to whether one may view oneself as a ‘Buddhist’. >This is not an assumption, it is stated clearly. This, frankly, makes little sense to me or many other UK Buddhists.

    I'm British and have been practising for over 20 years. In all that time, I have never come across this attitude or condition.

    If One wanted to convert to Christianity or Islam, one could do so immediately, with no ceremony at all, perhaps a modest prayer or similar. And in private and solo. It is down to the individual to define whether one is a Christian or a Muslim and nobody can challenge that, it being down to the individual to display the values on a continual basis in their everyday life.

    No, you're wrong.
    If you want to join a church, such as a Catholic one, there is actually quite a lot of official stuff to go through.
    I'm an ex-Catholic, and half-Italian. I have over 200 Italian, Roman Catholic relatives, and my entire formative years were steeped in Catholicism, so let me assure you - you want to join a catholic Church, you'd better go through the hoops and be worthy. Of course, The RC Church, in particular, is extremely adept at moving the goalposts when it suits them...
    And anyone who is not a natural Muslim, is considered an Infidel. There is, I believe, a passage in the Koran which recommends that those who do not subscribe to the Laws of Islam are Infidels and therefore legitimate death targets.
    A friend of mine was in love with a Muslim, and he, apparently, with her. But his parents raised so many objections, and made so many demands upon her, with conditions imposed by the Islam Religion, that it broke them up.
    So, a re-think on your opinions may be in order...

    So, the suggestion (by some) that one must undertake a formal refuge ceremony to consider oneself a Buddhist, seems at odds to me with the spirit of Buddhism and indeed, would lead to Buddhism being more of a closed shop and ‘clubby’ than other religions, which seems askew.

    There is no greater 'clubby' religion that Catholicism, in my experience. A formal Refuge ceremony is far less 'clubby than any organised Theistic religion I have encountered.

    Where exactly have you encountered any attitude that specifically has said to you, unequivocally, that the only way to consider yourself Buddhist, is to take Refuge?

    We have an eightfold path, we have precepts, we can take refuge without a public ceremony and we can accept, embrace and follow the path and be Buddhists, regardless of the formal ceremonial aspects.

    Which,, believe me, you absolutely have no way of doing in a Theistic religion.

    It is this that my comments were aimed at specifically, my ‘come and see for yourself’ element does continue to question and indeed, I continue to see the stance of those organisations around this as somewhat dubious. Fortunately, with the Soto Zen tradition and Theravada traditions that I am involved with locally, neither see the formal and public refuge ceremony as a credible aspect (other traditions do)

    Which 'other traditions' do you mean?

    ...and indeed, both wholly discard this approach for a more pragmatic and “how you behave and follow the eightfold path is a more telling indicator of whether one is a Buddhist and that is down to you and you alone” approach. Which makes far more intellectual and indeed, spiritual, sense to me ??

    I veer towards Theravada but combine elements of Tibetan Buddhism into my practice, depending on my own personal needs in that moment.
    I would say that strictly speaking, I'm Theravada, but some aspects of Theravada can be humourless and leave me cold. So I swing as I breeze. And nobody has ever rapped my knuckles for it. Ever. Anywhere.

    Now, ask me about my Catholic experience and that's a whole different novel...

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    No problem @Alex, Buddhism is an interesting and kind path with room for all...

    @Alex said:
    It is this that my comments were aimed at specifically, my ‘come and see for yourself’ element does continue to question and indeed, I continue to see the stance of those organisations around this as somewhat dubious.

    One additional thing I would advise, be wary of judgment, however cautiously stated. Often we westerners have a tendency to judge, and there can be some hidden pride there, or the individualism that this society instils in you. It takes time to overcome this, and some meditative practice, to bring out our mildness and true friendliness.

    “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
    — His Holiness the Dalai Lama

    AlexlobsterShoshinKundo
  • AlexAlex Explorer Explorer
    edited April 3

    @federica You and I clearly have different experiences then.

    As a Catholic myself, who then converted to an evangelical faith, to tell me point blank that “I’m wrong” is a little aggressive and doesn’t allow for space for my views, I must say. My comments stated that to convert to Christianity, one did not need a public ceremony and merely a personal and private prayer was required and that is utterly true (rather than joining a Church, which is not the same thing). There is no ceremony required to consider oneself a Christian, so I do disagree with you if you think otherwise, I am sorry. Your own experiences within Catholicism are evident here, but not my own experiences with religion / Churches. I perceive you are talking about joining a Church. I am talking about becoming a Christian.

    Re conversion to Islam - “Becoming a Muslim is a simple and easy process. All that a person has to do is to say a sentence called the Testimony of Faith (Shahada), which is pronounced as:

    I testify “La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad rasoolu Allah.”

    These Arabic words mean, “There is no true god (deity) but God (Allah), and Muhammad is the Messenger (Prophet) of God.” Once a person says the Testimony of Faith (Shahada) with conviction and understanding its meaning, then he/she has become a Muslim.” No apparent formal ceremony.

    As far as UK based Buddhist organisations that require one to take refuge to consider oneself a Buddhist, I suggest that you review the UK Triratna, Kagyu and many Zen websites, as I have been doing over recent weeks and months. You will find that they say this.

  • AlexAlex Explorer Explorer
    edited April 3

    @Kerome thank you, you may be right, I shall continue to reflect. I may yet have some historic shackles to cast aside re my perception of organised religion @federica

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited April 3

    @Alex said:
    @Kerome thank you, you may be right, I shall continue to reflect.

    It’s better than a prospective teacher asking you to do 100,000 prostrations, hehe. No that didn’t happen to me, but to a online friend when he met his current teacher. It took him several years.

    Alex
  • AlexAlex Explorer Explorer

    @Kerome ? I have read about that stuff occurring ! Thank you Brother, I shall away to my Zafu for a half hour of Zaizen! I need it now, for sure ! ?

  • AlexAlex Explorer Explorer

    @federica Perhaps I have misunderstood some of the things I’ve read and watched re UK Buddhism. As a New Buddhist, just getting involved with Sangha, I haven’t personally experienced those attitudes yet, but I have seen the stuff about formal refuge ceremonies on various websites and that one can then consider oneself a Buddhist. To me, one can consider oneself a Buddhist outside of a formal refuge ceremony, do you agree ?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    A huge number of Buddhists of long-standing do not consider Triratna to be a worthy, legitimate or entirely honourable institution, so yes, I agree, their MO is highly questionable. That's why I asked you to clarify to whom or what you were referring.... I have purposely steered clear of any organisation which has such a short tradition and recent establishment. I guess it might be likened to Christian Science...!

    Yeah, Kagyu is.... Yeah. Probably run along the same lines as RCatholicism! Too much, too varied, too complex, like an old Boy's Club, or perhaps, Masonic!!

    So thanks for the feedback.

    It's true I took your comments on practising Christianity as collective with Joining a church, so perhaps I 'over-read' your meaning. But if we use your example, then Buddhism is exactly the same. You are free to practise entirely unceremoniously...

    I totally get any subconscious or 'below-the-surface' resentment or hostility towards organised religion.
    We in the west are not born into our religions; we're automatically enrolled either because of tradition or belief, at our baptism - something we have no say in, and it's an automatic assumption and standard opinion that it's ok to do that.

    I personally do not now, after much reflection, feel it to be a legitimate or appropriate ceremony to subject a minor to, without any prior discussion or agreement. After all, we go to catechism classes for our First Holy Communion, and later the ritual of Confirmation is subjected to much education and thought.

    Both my daughters were baptised, and took First Holy Communion.
    My eldest delayed her Confirmation ceremony because she wanted to be sure, to be sure, Something our Catholic priest (who was a thoroughly delightful and lovable man!) was both surprised and delighted by.
    My youngest never reached the Confirmation stage, and neither girls now go to Church or have any precise belief system in their lives.

    It's no wonder so many people 'rebel' against organised religion, feeling it to be hypocritical, restrictive, controlling and demanding, on many levels. Hundreds upon thousands have justified and legitimate cause to be hostile and resentful, through treatment previously meted out by Religious orders, establishments or authorities.
    Not a day goes by when something shocking, horrific, outrageous, ridiculous or simply laughable, isn't reported.
    So I can understand the bristling and dug-in heels at the thought of having to conform, under certain restrictive conditions.

    I will say this (and I have said it before:) Theistic Religion is 5% God-given and 95% man-driven.
    It's important to differentiate between God's message, and the dogmatic and restrictive rules imposed by those who purport to 'spread the word'.
    Much of what is propounded by any organised religion, is created as a means of controlling or governing the Flock, and should be held up to intense scrutiny and persistent question.

    If it feels good, do it.
    When in doubt - don't.

    This adage has stood me in good stead for virtually everything I have ever experienced.

    AlexKundo
  • AlexAlex Explorer Explorer
    edited April 3

    @federica I think our views are much, much closer to one’s another’s than either of us realised ! I think your point re practising Buddhism unceremoniously and the issue there is one that I have missed to be honest, I’ve been seeking answers, but until you said that, the penny has not dropped with me how this might work. Thank you for your insight, peace and metta ??

    lobster
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran
    edited April 4

    My Tibetan Buddhist teacher in the Kagyu and Nyingma* tradition says that even the Lam Rim text we use which is the Jewel Ornament of Liberation says that you can take refuge by yourself. That text lays out explicitly how to do that. However my teacher also says that if you're in the sangha and participate why not do it and include your teacher and sangha in your refuge ceremony? So her point is to say "well why not?". I live across seas and I can participate in a refuge ceremony with my cell phone. I could do it (as said in the Jewel Ornament of Liberation) text by myself but why not do it with the group?

    A different issue my guru also has given information about refuge and she says that generally some people like to do refuge initially early before they really know what refuge is. And some people wait a long time (generally) to wait until they really know what refuge is (moreso) in the context of Buddhism. She commented that both are Ok. Because hopefully the early birds persist in their studies and later learn. and hopefully the ones who delay eventually take refuge before they die. And I believe she said in some way refuge is outside of time or extending to all times and so it doesn't really matter when it happens specifically. But that's another story (timelessness).

    AlexShoshin
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