4.B.2.A.2.a. Taking Refuge as the Superior Gateway
for Entering the Dharma
for the Practice of Refuge (article)
on Refuge & Precepts (audio)
- Part 1 of 10. Dharma Friendship
Foundation, Seattle. 1991/92.
What it means to take refuge
[6 min]: Download
Why take refuge?
[19 min]: Download
Objects of refuge - the Buddha
[24 min]: Download
[12 min]: Download
Objects of refuge - the Dharma and
[13 min]: Download
Q&A; the relevance of all these
[10 min]: Download
Refuge - Part 2 of 10. DFF,
Review: Causes of refuge; objects
of refuge; 2 bodies of the Buddha; conventional & ultimate
refuge; causal & resultant refuge
the Buddha is a reliable guide: 4 qualities
[28 min]: Download
The 3 kinds of confidence/faith; review;
[17 min]: Download
Refuge - Part 3 of 10. DFF,
Review of the 3 types of faith/confidence
[6 min]: Download
Different views of the Buddha in the
Theravada and Mahayana schools: how to use each to help us on
the path [20
Qualities and skills of a Buddha's
body, speech and mind:
a) Qualities and skills of a Buddha's body
[15 min]: Download
b) Qualities and skills of a Buddha's
[14 min]: Download
[22 min]: Download
Among the topics discussed:
- Attachment to the Buddha's good
- Interdependence of the Buddha's
qualities and the listener's qualities
- If the Buddha always manifests
in ways that will benefit others, how come others aren't always
- It's mentioned that negative
karma created in relation to the Buddha is much heavier. Is
the Buddha's setting us up?
- What is the role of faith when
we hear things that don't make complete sense to us?
- We are told Buddha is not an
inherently existing personality but so much of the language
seems to describe the Buddha as a personality. Why is this so?
- How seeing our own Buddha nature
help us to relate to the Buddha in a healthy way.
Refuge - Part 4 of 10. DFF,
c) Qualities and skills of a Buddha's
- i) Compassion & Wisdom [19
- ii) The 10 Powers
Refuge - Part 5 of 10. DFF,
d) Qualities and skills of a Buddha's
enlightening influence. Two
basic qualities: Effortless, Uninterrupted.
The good qualities of the Dharma.
True path directly destroys
ignorance; True cessation prevents disturbing attitudes from re-arising.
The good qualities of the Sangha.
Hearer aryas, solitary realizer
aryas, arya bodhisattvas; The five paths of each vehicle; The
10 Bhumis/Grounds and the corresponding 10 perfections; The qualities
of the bodhisattvas. [17 min]:
The good qualities of the Sangha - Cont'd
Refuge - Part 6 of 10. DFF,
Seattle. 10 Feb 92
Recognizing that spiritual practice
Taking refuge (in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha) by knowing their
differences in terms of:
2. Enlightening influence
3. Aspirations or fervent regard we have for each
Refuge - Part 8 of 10. DFF,
Benefits of having taken refuge:
a. We become Buddhists
b. We establish the foundation for taking all further vows
c. We can eliminate results of previously accumulated negative
d. We can quickly accumulate great positive karma
Refuge - Part 9 of 10. DFF,
Benefits of having taken refuge -
- Review of first four benefits
- The next four benefits:
e. We can't be harmed by humans and non-humans.
f. We won't fall to unfortunate rebirths
g. In general our virtuous purposes and temporal goals will be
h. We will quickly attain Buddhahood
Specific guidelines for the practice
1. Having taken refuge in the Buddha:
a. do not turn for refuge in worldly deities.
b. respect all images of the Buddha
2. Having taken refuge in the Dharma:
a. avoid harming any living being
b. respect the written words which describe the path
Specific guidelines - Cont'd
3. Having taken refuge in the Sangha:
a. do not cultivate the friendship of people who criticize
the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, who teach wrong views or who
b. develop respect for monks and nuns
Refuge - Part 10 of 10. DFF,
Common Guidelines for the practice
1. Being mindful of the qualities,
skills, and differences between the Three Jewels and other possible
refuges, repeatedly take refuge in them
2. Remembering their kindness, make offerings to them
3. Mindful of their compassion, encourage others to take refuge
4. Remembering the benefits of taking refuge, do so 3 times each
morning and evening
5. Do all actions by entrusting yourself to the Three Jewels.
6. Do not forsake your refuge at the cost of our life or as a
1. In analogy to taking refuge in
the Buddha, commit yourself whole-heartedly to a qualified spiritual
2. In analogy to taking refuge in the Dharma, listen to and study
the teachings as well as put them into practice in your daily
3. In analogy to taking refuge in the Sangha, respect the Sangha
as your spiritual companions.
4. Train in accordance with the good examples set by the Sangha.
5. Avoid being rough and arrogant, running after any desirable
object you see and criticizing anything that meets with your disapproval.
Be friendly and kind to others and be more concerned with correcting
your own faults than with pointing out those of others.
6. As much as possible avoid the ten non-virtuous actions, and
take and keep precepts.
7. Have a compassionate and sympathetic heart towards all other
8. Make special offerings to the Three Jewels on Buddhist festival
Questions and answers
Taking Refuge. April 2003, Cleveland,
Part 1 [46
min] : Download
Part 2 [48 min] : Download
Venerable Chodron explains
refuge and the three objects of refuge: Buddha, Dharma, Sangha.
She explains the different "bodies" of the Buddha and
talks about the meaning of taking refuge in the guru. She discusses
the benefits of taking refuge and guidelines for practicing refuge.
and Bodhicitta. 17 April 2005,
Mahabodhi Society of USA, Sunnyvale, CA
Part 1 [57
min] : Download
Venerable Chodron talks
about the benefits of taking refuge and developing bodhicitta.
Explaining the three objects of refuge, their qualities and the
difference between inner and external objects of refuge, she explains
how to take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. The causes
of refuge, and the three types of faith or confidence in the Three
Jewels are also discussed.
Questions and Answers [26
min] : Download
- What kind of practice can we use to deal with what we hear
on the news?
- Can you speak about conflict between religions?
- What can I do when friends ask for advice on marital problems?
- How can we deal with marital problems?
Taking Refuge. September 2006, Sravasti Abbey, Washington, USA
Part 1 [62 min] : Download mp3 file
Venerable Chodron explains the benefits of taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
Part 1, Questions and Answers [26 min] : Download mp3 file
- How will I know if I really care about a person if I let go of
opinions of them?
- How do you have compassion for yourself?
- What is the difference between compassion for your self and
- How can you deal with craving and fear?
Part 2 [28 min] : Download mp3 file
Venerable Chodron explains the three objects of refuge, including the
ultimate and conventional aspects. She also explains the signs and marks
of a Buddha.
Part 3 [26 min] : Download mp3 file
Venerable Chodron explains the qualities of the Buddha's speech and mind.