Refuge

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Refuge

Postby Bodharma » Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:09 pm

I originally took refuge in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition in 2001. My practice had slipped and now I am beginning again with a strong interest in Theravada. My interest in practicing Theravadin Buddhism is that it is simple, just Buddha and his teachings. I believe Vipassana may help me to overcome negative states of mind, be more at peace, and live in the present moment. I am disabled due to a chronic and painful autoimmune illness. Do I need to take refuge again in the Theravada Tradition? Or does my refuge from before count?

Thank you for all kind replies, John. :anjali:
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Re: Refuge

Postby Aloka » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:04 pm

Bodharma wrote:I originally took refuge in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition in 2001. My practice had slipped and now I am beginning again with a strong interest in Theravada. My interest in practicing Theravadin Buddhism is that it is simple, just Buddha and his teachings. I believe Vipassana may help me to overcome negative states of mind, be more at peace, and live in the present moment. I am disabled due to a chronic and painful autoimmune illness. Do I need to take refuge again in the Theravada Tradition? Or does my refuge from before count?

Thank you for all kind replies, John. :anjali:


Hello Bodharma :hello:

I originally took Refuge with Tibetan Buddhism and practiced with that tradition for a long time. However, I eventually decided that I was more interested in practising with the Theravada Thai Forest Tradition lineage of Ajahn Chah and reading suttas from the Pali Canon.

I didn't feel it was necessary for me to take refuge again.

With kind regards,

Aloka :anjali:
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Re: Refuge

Postby konchokzopa » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:37 pm

if you have broken your vow's you have to receive them again from someone from the lineage or the sangha. but refuge is for good, dont need to do that again.
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Re: Refuge

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:05 pm

Hi Bodharma,

In traditional Theravada circles it's uncommon to "take refuge" in the sense of a big, one-off event. No-ne keeps a list... That is because taking refuge is generally a common, and repetitive, part of the procedure. At the Wat I attend the Sunday morning ritual includes refuges, precepts, and some other chanting, leading up to offering provisions to the Sangha.

:anjali:
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Re: Refuge

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:45 pm

It's not even a prerequisite to take refuge at a temple, or with a monk. You can do it at home in front of your shrine, simply by reciting the formula for the three refuges:

Buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi
Dhammaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi
Saṅghaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi

Dutiyampi Buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi
Dutiyampi Dhammaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi
Dutiyampi Saṅghaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi

Tatiyampi Buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi
Tatiyampi Dhammaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi
Tatiyampi Saṅghaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi

The five precepts can be undertaken in the same way.

If you go to a temple, any monk can formally give you the precepts, but it is not like taking dependence on a teacher.
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Re: Refuge

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:49 pm

Just a mildly pedantic point: One does not "take" refuge, one goes for refuge.

Buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi
Dhammaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi
Saṅghaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi

gacchāmi I go for refuge.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Refuge

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:42 pm

konchokzopa wrote:if you have broken your vow's you have to receive them again from someone from the lineage or the sangha.


This kind of vow-talk is a Tibetan way of conceiving the precepts, based, I believe, on the Sarvāstivādin Abhidharma. The Theravāda doesn't conceive of the precepts (sikkhāpada; śikṣāpada) as mysterious meme-like entities that are somehow preserved in lineages and which a person can be said to "have taken" or "to be keeping" only if they've been magically transmitted to him by a suitably qualified "lineage-holder".

In the Theravādin conception you can resolve to undertake the precepts all by yourself. And if you break one then you can re-take it all by yourself, by recognising the fault and resolving to exercise greater restraint in future.
    ...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: Refuge

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:51 am

Dhammanando wrote:In the Theravādin conception you can resolve to undertake the precepts all by yourself. And if you break one then you can re-take it all by yourself, by recognising the fault and resolving to exercise greater restraint in future.

I think there is great value, though, if you have broken a precept, in formally taking the precepts again from a preceptor, after confessing your faults.

“It rains hard on what is covered, not on that which is open.”

Some people find it helpful to publicly declare their intention to undertake and abide by the five or eight precepts, or the eight precepts with right livelihood as the eighth..
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Re: Refuge

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:42 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:I think there is great value, though, if you have broken a precept, in formally taking the precepts again from a preceptor, after confessing your faults.

“It rains hard on what is covered, not on that which is open.”


I agree, bhante.
    ...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: Refuge

Postby Maitri » Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:12 pm

Venerables Pesala & Dhammanando ,

Concerning morality, could you elaborate on the idea of confession? Does this apply only for monastics or can lay people participate as well?

I've heard this as an element of Tibetan practice linked with the concept of purification of karma (with Vajrasattva, water bowl offerings etc..) but I'm curious how this is regarded in Theravada.

:namaste:
May all beings be well, happy, calm, and at ease.
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