taking refuge????

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

taking refuge????

Postby genkaku » Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:30 pm

The word "refuge" is defined by an Internet dictionary this way:

▸ noun: a shelter from danger or hardship
▸ noun: something or someone turned to for assistance or security ("Took refuge in lying")
▸ noun: a safe place
▸ noun: act of turning to for assistance


If I understand these descriptions accurately, a "refuge" is something anyone might rely on in times of uncertainty. Since I think anyone might feel uncertainty, it seems reasonable and human to seek out more reliable circumstances or surroundings.

Buddhism teaches that all things are impermanent. Most of us, given a little reflection, don't need Buddhism to tell us that, but Buddhism is a good reminder.

Buddhism also teaches people who are uncertain to take refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Sometimes people can be pretty insistent about it. Given the other things they are insistent about, insistence on Buddha, Dharma and Sangha is probably not a bad idea.

But I would be interested in how anyone balanced the refuge they might have sought -- in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha -- with the fact that everything changes and that if everything changes, there can be no enduring refuge.

How do you see it?
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Re: taking refuge????

Postby bodom » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:54 pm

They go to many a refuge,
to mountains, forests,
parks, trees, and shrines:
people threatened with danger.
That's not the secure refuge,
that's not the highest refuge,
that's not the refuge,
having gone to which,
you gain release
from all suffering and stress.

But when, having gone for refuge
to the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha,
you see with right discernment
the four Noble Truths —
stress,
the cause of stress,
the transcending of stress,
and the Noble Eightfold Path,
the way to the stilling of stress:
That's the secure refuge,
that, the highest refuge,
that is the refuge,
having gone to which,
you gain release
from all suffering and stress.
— Dhammapada, 188-192

Heres an article you might be interested in reading.

Refuge: An Introduction to the Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... e.html#goi

:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: taking refuge????

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:57 pm

The only Refuge we truly have is ourselves!
the Buddha is remembered by seeking the truth
the dhamma is remembered by seeking the truth
and the sangha is remembered by seeking the truth
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: taking refuge????

Postby piotr » Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:02 pm

Hi,

genkaku wrote:But I would be interested in how anyone balanced the refuge they might have sought -- in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha -- with the fact that everything changes and that if everything changes, there can be no enduring refuge.

How do you see it?


As papañca and misunderstanding. :smile: There are some patterns in life that do not change. Dependent co-arising is like that — it's timeless in the sense that whether it is 21st century A.D. or 5th century B.C. the rule that "ignorance conditions fabrications", etc. stands the same. So one should be careful with accepting the statement that "everything changes" at its face value.
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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Re: taking refuge????

Postby genkaku » Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:59 pm

Dear piotr -- Thanks. From your words, I deduce that some things change and some do not; some things are impermanent and some things are not.

Am I hearing correctly?
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Re: taking refuge????

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:21 pm

Hi Genkaku,

genkaku wrote:Thanks. From your words, I deduce that some things change and some do not; some things are impermanent and some things are not.


The teaching of anicca is that all conditioned phenomena are impermanent. But "conditioned phenomena" doesn't include Nibbana, nor does it include dhammatās ("laws", "regularities of nature") such as dependent arising.

That being so, the OP's statement "everything changes" is at best a crude approximation of what the Buddha taught on anicca, and at worst seriously misleading.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: taking refuge????

Postby genkaku » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:16 am

Thanks Dhammanando. I stand corrected. Some things never change. :)
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Re: taking refuge????

Postby piper » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:42 am

If something like causality never changes then won't there always be causes & results? And if there are always causes & results then ... wait ... I've just gone cross-eyed. :rolleye:
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Re: taking refuge????

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:58 am

piper wrote:If something like causality never changes then won't there always be causes & results? And if there are always causes & results then ... wait ... I've just gone cross-eyed. :rolleye:


We have just lost cabin pressure. :toilet:

I'll assume that it's safe to say that causality, causes, and results persist and are ever-present.
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Re: taking refuge????

Postby Dhammanando » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:00 am

Hi Piper,

piper wrote:If something like causality never changes then won't there always be causes & results? And if there are always causes & results then ... wait ... I've just gone cross-eyed. :rolleye:


So long as there's ignorance there'll be kammic formations; so long as there are kammic formations there'll be consciousness etc. etc. Ignorance can cease, but the dhammatā of kammic formations arising wherever there is ignorance does not cease.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: taking refuge????

Postby genkaku » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:40 pm

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Piper,

piper wrote:If something like causality never changes then won't there always be causes & results? And if there are always causes & results then ... wait ... I've just gone cross-eyed. :rolleye:


So long as there's ignorance there'll be kammic formations; so long as there are kammic formations there'll be consciousness etc. etc. Ignorance can cease, but the dhammatā of kammic formations arising wherever there is ignorance does not cease.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu


A Zen teacher of mine, Soen Nakagawa Roshi, once said, "There is birth and there is death. In between there is enlightenment." The 'challenge' he posed, I think, was for anyone to discover the so-called 'between.'

FWIW.
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