taking refuge????

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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genkaku
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taking refuge????

Post by 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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bodom
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Re: taking refuge????

Post by 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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


"Dont send the mind outside. Watch the mind right at the mind."

- Ajahn Dune Atulo

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Cittasanto
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Re: taking refuge????

Post by 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
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

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.
John Stuart Mill

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piotr
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Re: taking refuge????

Post by 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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genkaku
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Re: taking refuge????

Post by 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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Dhammanando
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Re: taking refuge????

Post by 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

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genkaku
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Re: taking refuge????

Post by genkaku » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:16 am

Thanks Dhammanando. I stand corrected. Some things never change. :)

piper
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Re: taking refuge????

Post by 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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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: taking refuge????

Post by 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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Dhammanando
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Re: taking refuge????

Post by 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

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genkaku
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Re: taking refuge????

Post by 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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