Author Topic: Can one Take Refuge if studying independently?  (Read 807 times)

Offline Genevieve

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Can one Take Refuge if studying independently?
« on: February 20, 2018, 07:28:05 am »
I am about to begin The Buddhist Society, London, Correspondence Course.  I have read that, in order to become a Buddhist, one can make a commitment and Take Refuge.  As I will be studying independently and won't be going to a Buddhist Centre, is it still possible to Take Refuge?

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Can one Take Refuge if studying independently?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2018, 10:36:17 am »
They are the three jewels. We take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. The first two are open to you, but the Sangha, a community of like minded people, isn't. However, there are communities online such as this one which can give you a taste of a Buddhist community.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Pixie

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Re: Can one Take Refuge if studying independently?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2018, 06:55:46 am »
I am about to begin The Buddhist Society, London, Correspondence Course.  I have read that, in order to become a Buddhist, one can make a commitment and Take Refuge.  As I will be studying independently and won't be going to a Buddhist Centre, is it still possible to Take Refuge?

Hi Genevieve,

If you live in the UK and can't get to a Buddhist centre, I suggest you contact the Buddhist Society and ask if there's anyone (an experienced Buddhist monk or nun, or a registered Buddhist teacher, for example,) who could do the Refuge ceremony with you on Skype. Lots of people who are disabled, elderly, or a long way from a centre end up doing  a "one- off," or a distance Refuge in one way or another.

 If one is a solitary practitioner, there's no rule that I know of that says its compulsory that you have to be part of an actual sangha either in "meat space," or on the internet, before you can actually become a Buddhist. Its what's in the heart that counts.

In the meantime you might like to read this:

https://www.urbandharma.org/udharma2/bds.html

With kind wishes,

Pixie _/|\_
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 07:14:06 am by Pixie »
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering.
May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others.

Offline Genevieve

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Re: Can one Take Refuge if studying independently?
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2018, 03:55:15 am »
Thank you both so much for your replies, which I found really helpful.  Thank you also for the link, Pixie.  Best wishes to you both.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Can one Take Refuge if studying independently?
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2018, 08:24:20 am »
Hi, Genevieve .

Just to build upon what others have offered to you:  Still another interpretation of taking refuge in The Sangha is to show respect to The Holy Sangha, which means the original followers of The Buddha and also those who are "noble ones", "worthy ones", or "attained ones".  These, along with The Buddha are seen as our teachers or Bhante'.

You may research more about this concept with regard to taking refuge here:

Sangha:  https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/sangha.html
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 08:28:54 am by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Genevieve

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Re: Can one Take Refuge if studying independently?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2018, 11:51:34 am »
Thank you very much for your reply and the link.  Much appreciated.

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Can one Take Refuge if studying independently?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2018, 05:27:15 pm »
Thank you very much for your reply and the link.  Much appreciated.

I'd like to add, don't be in a big hurry to take refuge.  Take your time.

Learn about what it means and how you feel about it. 

Then when you're ready and comfortable with your choice, take refuge.

Offline PinkJasperCat

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Re: Can one Take Refuge if studying independently?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2018, 06:11:57 pm »
I had a dream about taking refuge before I really knew what it was. To set the scene of the dream, there was massive flooding, mounds were getting covered with water, so I kept on jumping around until there was no where left to go, and Buddha was like "heres my space, share it with me". So, I go to this space in meditation. Its a safe space, one that could be accessed by love/kindness meditation. Plus, once your meditation becomes more advanced, you an access it any time -- anywhere.

Dont get me wrong, nuns and monks are so very important, however (lol) they are no replacement for Buddha himself.....and ascended masters in general at that.

Just my ten cents worth! lol


Offline Lotusmile

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Re: Can one Take Refuge if studying independently?
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2018, 03:21:07 am »
I am about to begin The Buddhist Society, London, Correspondence Course.  I have read that, in order to become a Buddhist, one can make a commitment and Take Refuge.  As I will be studying independently and won't be going to a Buddhist Centre, is it still possible to Take Refuge?
Yes
Taking refuge does not necessarily means that you are true buddhist. It means that you are embarking on the journey to completely understand your inner refuge of buddha, dharma and sangha. However, if you fully penetrated the understanding of buddhism refuge, you need not even have to take refuge as you are already in refuge of buddha dharma sangha:))

 


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