Understanding Refuge

The Refuge Series: Understanding Refuge | Taking The Vow of Refuge | Refuge Ceremony and Prayers

The aim of Buddhist practice is to end suffering. A refuge is a place where one goes to be free from harm, fear, and suffering. In Buddhism, refuge is a metaphor for wakefulness or presence. It is reminder of the basic orientation in Buddhist practice, namely, that suffering comes to end only through being awake and present.

Another way to think about refuge is that you become a refugee. A refugee is someone who leaves a country or homeland because life is no longer tenable there. When you take refuge, you are acknowledging that a life based on habituated patterns is no longer tenable for you. You are prepared to set out into the mystery and rely on awareness, wherever it may lead you.

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