I'm at the stage where I want to formally take refuge. I have been lurking around Buddhism for nearly 30 odd years and think it's about time to formally commit. As I get older the teachings seem more accurate and I really am looking for a community to help me stay on the path.
I don't have a teacher or a sangha as such. Do I need a Sangha to so do? I think some sort of ritual would make it stronger.
The other issue I have is that I don't really have a particular stream of Buddhism as I'm interested in Theravada, Zen and Kagyu.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Truth is I go to the Dharma for refuge but forget about it when life is good. I want to make sure this doesn't happen again.
Birds of a feather flock together. You can't beat a friendly and warm hearted Sangha for supporting practice. Not to say that someone can't go it alone but there are so many benefits to being in the company of folks on the same path. Ethnic Buddhisms can be hard work for some Westerners. No one is ever as smart in a second language. Plus you'll always be that alien presence to the leathery little old ladies who make the tea, gossip and laugh in a dialect you will never understand and who actually run the temple. There are lots of 'Buddhism Comes West' options out there probably some near you. Shop around. Wishing you every success on your journey.