Taking Refuge in the Buddha

Dear Sangha,
images-4We started a chapter last night on the refuges: “I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the Dharma, I take refuge in the Sangha.”

First we had to work though what is meant in this context by refuge. We often think of it as escape, as in “refuge from the storm.” In a sense, someone said, this is right. Samsara, the endless round of cause-effect, is like a whirlwind. We can take refuge from it through our practice. Someone else said it’s like a centering, finding the still core.

images-5To take refuge in the Buddha is to depend upon what the Buddha found to be true. Maybe it is to take refuge in our own original nature, called Buddha-nature. Of the three refuges, this one is the “modeling” one. “I look to this model of awakening. When I don’t believe I can do this, I look to someone who did, and taught how.” We felt that seems to be the spirit of this particular refuge.

Next week we’ll read and talk about taking refuge in the Dharma. We would be very happy¬†to see you there, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation Building on Center Road, from 5-7.

Thank you Nora, for leading, and Joy and Kozan, while I’ve been gone.