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Taking Refuge and Precepts - Dhamma Wheel

Taking Refuge and Precepts

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
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clw_uk
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Taking Refuge and Precepts

Postby clw_uk » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:32 pm

Not really sure what topic this comes under so just thought i would put it here.

Does one have to take refuge and take the precepts formerly i.e. at a monastery or temple in order to be considered a Theravada Buddhist or even a true Buddhist.

I have never been to a temple or been on retreat because where I live the nearest Theravada Monastery is quite far away and it has been difficult for me to be able to travel to it. Despite not having had a formal ceremony I still recite my precepts and my refuge daily and take them seriously. To my mind I dont think you need a ceremony to take the precepts and go for refuge.

Am I wrong?

:namaste:
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Will
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Re: Taking Refuge and Precepts

Postby Will » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:50 pm

No, but you would be more correct and it would help your practice in future, if you did make the extra effort to take formal refuge from a bhikkhu.
A bodhisattva does not become weary of evil beings nor does he commit the error of bringing forth thoughts inclined to reject them and cast them aside. Avatamsaka Sutra, ch. 25

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retrofuturist
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Re: Taking Refuge and Precepts

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:04 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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clw_uk
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Re: Taking Refuge and Precepts

Postby clw_uk » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:15 pm

I would have done it already but its difficult with my current circumstances. To me going for refuge and taking the precepts comes from within, I dont think you need a ceramony in order to take them.

I do intend to take them formerly the first chance I get though.

Do you just ask the bhikkhu for them? (as you can probably tell my knowledge of Theravada ceremonies is lacking)
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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Will
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Re: Taking Refuge and Precepts

Postby Will » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:22 pm

Advice from Bhikkhu Bodhi; see paragraph 6, The Methods of Going for Refuge:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... .html#ref4
Last edited by Will on Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
A bodhisattva does not become weary of evil beings nor does he commit the error of bringing forth thoughts inclined to reject them and cast them aside. Avatamsaka Sutra, ch. 25

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mikenz66
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Re: Taking Refuge and Precepts

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:29 am


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Re: Taking Refuge and Precepts

Postby appicchato » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:06 am


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kc2dpt
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Re: Taking Refuge and Precepts

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:12 am

- Peter


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Jason
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Re: Taking Refuge and Precepts

Postby Jason » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:44 am

Last edited by Jason on Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Dhammanando
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Re: Taking Refuge and Precepts

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:04 am


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Will
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Re: Taking Refuge and Precepts

Postby Will » Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:28 am

A bodhisattva does not become weary of evil beings nor does he commit the error of bringing forth thoughts inclined to reject them and cast them aside. Avatamsaka Sutra, ch. 25

Anagarika Sevaka
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Re: Taking Refuge and Precepts

Postby Anagarika Sevaka » Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:06 am

Hello Will,
You have received many good answers here. Finding myself in similar circumstances,I remember writing to the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama once, seeking guidance on the same question. The reply I received from one of the 14th Dalai Lama's assistants was:
"In response to your question "how does one become a Buddhist", it is entirely through one's own faith. A person becomes a Buddhist when he/she accepts by heart that the three jewels-Buddha, Dharma and Sangha as genuine protectors of oneself and other sentient beings from the sufferings of Samsara."
Certainly many take the Triple Gem by what is sometimes described as the common or mundane way, incorporating Refuge Vows in their daily practice. It is true ,though, that great peace and joy comes from receiving them in the supramundane way; from an ordained Bhikkhu in good standing, with meaningful ceremony and surrounded by friends in witness, as well as support.
As a member of Saddhamma Sangha, I would invite you to visit:

http://what-buddha-said.net/sangha/Saddhamma_Sangha.htm

I wish you peace, love, and joy in your path! It is a life-long process of practice with many lamps by which to light your way.

With Metta,
Anagarika Sevaka

green
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Re: Taking Refuge and Precepts

Postby green » Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:53 pm

Unfortuneatly, the taking of the refuge from an ordained monk or nun is not always possible -- I think I am lucky to have a Buddhist temple near by (it is being constructed as we speak, when it will open I don't know)-- but they don't speak english.

I do agree with the Dalai Lama, the true refuge is taken in the heart when we understand Buddha Dhamma as true. This allows individual practitioners to take refuge anywhere in the world without having to depend on anyone. The internet makes it possible to distribute it throughout the world. But the appropriate translations are very delayed.
There should be English, Chinese, Hindi, Arabic translations immediately and they should be along side the original pali in their respective alphabets.

I hope in this way too, the Tipitika gets distributed to these individual practitioners...I hope they will have the pocket edition of the Tipitaka. :smile:

Snowmelt
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Re: Taking Refuge and Precepts

Postby Snowmelt » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:38 am


Snowmelt
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Re: Taking Refuge and Precepts

Postby Snowmelt » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:48 am


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Cittasanto
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Re: Taking Refuge and Precepts

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:57 pm

in a book I have by a former monk in the back he specifically says the formality is not necessary all you have to do is live by them to considder yourself a buddhist (not a direct quote), the saying them and the monks presence is a added bonus I guess.


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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clw_uk
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Re: Taking Refuge and Precepts

Postby clw_uk » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:11 pm

Thank you green, snowmelt and manapa

I to agree that the real refuge is taken inside us my practicing and understanding Dhamma

:anjali:
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GrahamR
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Taking Refuge and Precepts

Postby GrahamR » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:13 am

With metta :bow:
Graham


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