Any reasons to delay. Taking refuge?

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Any reasons to delay. Taking refuge?

Postby Nyada » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:05 am

In a few books I have read/ an reading they mention the Taking Refuge ceremony and it has came up a couple in conversations but I never think to ask when I am there. Is there any reasons why I (or anybody) should delay after they have established that Buddhism is for them before they take refuge? :shrug:

With it all still being mostly new to me I am unsure about what to do.

I am not 100% that a different format maybe more enjoyable for me.
I am not 100% that I will be living here and able to continue with my current center next year
And My first comment is to finding work and military (non-combat) is still an option to me
I don't think that they would make a difference but if I do this I wanna do it right. So is there any reason(s) that somebody should delay?
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Re: Any reasons to delay. Taking refuge?

Postby kirtu » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:30 am

If you are convinced that Buddhism in some form is the path for you and are determined to follow that path in some form then there is no reason to delay taking refuge.

The refuge ceremony may or may not be problematic for you to attend/arrange. However you can take refuge daily by chanting:

(in Sanskrit)
Buddham Saranam Gacchami.
Dhammam Saranam Gacchami.
Sangham Saranam Gacchami

or in English
I go for refuge to the Buddha.
I go for refuge to the Dharma.
I go for refuge to the Sangha.

This refuge prayer is essentially totally ecumenical and is done in some form close to this in almost every Buddhist tradition.

The great Indian pandit (great teacher) who taught Buddhism in India and Tibet, Atisha, taught the refuge prayer practice widely. It is probably from him that Tibetans began the practice of reciting the refuge prayer (and other practices later) 100,000 times. It would be good, if you are determined to follow the Buddha's teachings, to recite the refuge prayer 3 times in the morning and three times in the evening (Indian Buddhist often did their practices 3 or more times in the morning and evening).

You can them take the formal refuge ceremony later according to the tradition that you decide to practice in. If I read your post correctly you are in the military. I used to be in the military and know that there are now Buddhist chaplains. So you could email them for advice on setting up the refuge ceremony if you wished. Here is a link to the Buddhist Military sangha, a resource for Buddhists in the military.

Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"The way to solve problems in your life is to open your heart to others and think differently."
Lama Zopa Rinpoche

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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Re: Any reasons to delay. Taking refuge?

Postby Wayfarer » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:32 am

I participated in a formal Refuge Ceremony in 2005, mainly as a public statement of commitment to the 'Three Jewels'. I think it was also to give me something to live up to (even if in some ways I have fallen short). My sister and wife came as witnesses. Since then I haven't returned to that particular centre, although have been on two retreats elsewhere; I meet with a (lay) sangha group of Dharma friends every couple of months, and continue to study and practice. So it can be quite informal. It isn't really like joining anything in the external sense. As mentioned above, you can take refuge simply by affirming the intent. But I think the formal aspect is useful in that it provides some sense of commitment and community and a visible sign of your commitment.
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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