Taking Refuge means taking the Buddha, his teachings (the Dharma), and the Sangha as one’s primary guidance and protection, and keeping the Refuge vows and commitments. Geshe Tsultrim will bestow the ceremony in an unbroken lineage from the time of the Buddha. In this ceremony new students can take refuge for the first time, and established students can renew their vows.
Bookings are essential if this is your first time! However, everyone is welcome to come along and listen! If you would like to accompany your family, but do not want to make the refuge commitment, you are still very welcome to come along and find out what refuge means.
Geshe-la will give the refuge and lay vows in an unbroken lineage from the time of the Buddha, and he will become your preceptor. Taking the Refuge Vow for life, is to avoid harming or killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct and intoxicants. You must be able to take the main vow – to avoid harming or killing – but may leave out some of others if you know for certain you cannot keep them. The decision is a private one – you yourself must be clear which ones you are taking – but there is no need obligation to tell anyone!
It is important that you understand what the qualities of the refuge objects are, how to correctly go for refuge every day, and how to keep and maintain the vows (and restore them if they weaken). Study such as previous teachings on refuge in our Soundfile Archive, or the Discovering Buddhism package on Refuge in the Three Jewels, is highly recommended.
So why take refuge? This question is from your side only. There are numberless buddhas and bodhisattvas who have compassion for you. So why have you been suffering from beginningless rebirths up to now? Even if all the buddhas and bodhisattvas put their power together, they can’t guide you if you don’t decide to receive their help, if you don’t take refuge.Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Presented by resident FPMT Geshe from our sister centre, Chenrezig Institute:
It is highly recommended that you do some prior study, such as the Discovering Buddhism course on Refuge in the Three Jewels.
The Merits of Taking Refuge Don’t Fit in the three-Thousand-Fold Galaxies, excerpt from a talk from Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
The Preliminary Practice of Refuge is an in-depth meditation and explanation.
You can make a donation online now, or when you arrive (with cash or card). Suggested amount is $20-$40 to help cover offerings for the altar and for Geshe-la. However, there is no set amount, please offer what you are comfortable with!
Yes, you can just come along on the day, but this helps us plan for this special ceremony, and adhere to our COVID-safe plan.