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Refuge in the Sangha - Dhamma Wheel

Refuge in the Sangha

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
SamBodhi
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Refuge in the Sangha

Postby SamBodhi » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:21 pm

Lately, I have been thinking about something when I get upset with another person. If there is some sort of animosity building or a definite case of grasping at anger or discursive thinking, I think about that person and then I say to myself, "Ajahn Chah was a real person. Flesh and blood real." I am not sure why I chose Ajahn Chah for this, but it may have been some contemplation on the title of this book, "No Ajahn Chah." I visited a Chan meditation group and I was surprised to see it sitting in the case next to all the other books they were offering.

Every time I do this, I immediately feel differently about whomever it is that I was previously struggling with. I am sure there is a comparison going on when I do this. It is not like I put the two different people side by side in my head. However, I think that the phrase incites a level of comparison.

The point of this story is that I was wondering if this is considered "refuge in the Sangha"? It certainly feels like it to me. I remember reading a Dhamma talk by Thanissaro Bhikkhu where he was speaking about how we have this "noble friend" in the Buddha. So, maybe this same thing is applied when I am saying this to myself... What I mean by that is that when I am experiencing trouble with somebody else, I feel like I exchange this refuge in discursive thinking, grasping, anger, etc. for refuge in the invaluable teachings of members of the Sangha.

I hope this makes sense. It was really almost exciting the first time I had these thoughts. I am interested to read what others think about it.

with Metta,
pung S
"An inward-staying
unentangled knowing,
All outward-going knowing
cast aside."
--Upasika Kee Nanayon

Sanghamitta
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Re: Refuge in the Sangha

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:35 pm

I think what you have outlined is a very valuable skillful means, for me one which is in in fact of the utmost value.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Refuge in the Sangha

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:49 pm

Personally I would say no, it is turning to an inspiring sign, but not the sangha.

at the loosest definition it is any friend on the path, or a community, for help.
so in a way it is as it as a Dhamma practitioner who practised well, but not as a definition, but personally I think it is just an inspiring sign you turn to, a good one, and shows a degree of maturity on the path as you have found a way to apply right effort to the problem at hand without needing to seek assistance, so discernment and clear seeing are being used appropriately.

I may post a contradictory reply later, you have me thinking about this, and its many levels.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Goofaholix
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Re: Refuge in the Sangha

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:06 pm


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cooran
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Re: Refuge in the Sangha

Postby cooran » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:30 pm

Hello all,

The Sangha: The Sangha that a Buddhist takes refuge in is the community of Noble Ones who have led exemplary lives and attained extraordinary insight into the true nature of things. Their lives and achievements show others that it is possible to progress on the path to Enlightenment.
http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/bs-s17.htm

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

perkele
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Re: Refuge in the Sangha

Postby perkele » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:12 pm

Whatever you call it, whatever other people want to call it/don't want to call it. Good that you have it!

:buddha2:

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Cittasanto
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Re: Refuge in the Sangha

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:15 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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JeffR
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Re: Refuge in the Sangha

Postby JeffR » Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:21 pm

It sounds to me like you are taking refuge in Ajahn Chah, a distinguished figure in the Sangha. So I say, yes, it is refuge in the Sangha.

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daverupa
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Re: Refuge in the Sangha

Postby daverupa » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:03 pm

Just a point of clarity:

One goes for refuge to the Triple Gem. One does not take refuge from it, nor does one take refuge in it.

SamBodhi
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Re: Refuge in the Sangha

Postby SamBodhi » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:03 pm

Thank you all very much for your input. I have come down with a sickness and I have not been able to respond to much of anything lately, online or off. I am very glad that I posted this.

Cittasanto,
what is the "Buddha Dhamma Saṅgha-guṇā – virtues of the triple gem" from? The quote you posted, that is.

I suppose that I am allowed to call it what I want to call it, but because Refuge is something so central and important, I wanted to make sure that I was not reducing it to something its not. I will just call it skillful. I certainly admire Ajahn Chah and I would consider him something of a "noble friend."

Like I said, I am feeling sick so I am sorry, if I am not really able to give the proper response. Thanks again!

with Metta,
pung S
"An inward-staying
unentangled knowing,
All outward-going knowing
cast aside."
--Upasika Kee Nanayon

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Cittasanto
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Re: Refuge in the Sangha

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:24 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.


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