A. We develop our relationship with our inner nature (other power, perhaps) through commitment to the eightfold path. This is embraced by going for refuge -in other words, by practising the Dharma. To answer your question more precisely, we need to focus more on the refuges, in this case, the Buddha refuge. The refuges represent more the spirit of, and commitment to practice. We need to be willing to open up to our inner nature (Buddha). Learning to nurture a relationship, through commitment and familiarity that will allow us to let go of our precious attachments. Attachments in which we invest so much of the sense of “me”.

As we live in our heads, blinded by the sense of self, we are for the most part estranged from our original nature. Separate and isolated from the whole, we live lonely and frightened. We need to learn to trust that which is beyond “me” and become sensitive to the truth that we are part of an inseparable whole that is forever in a state of flux. We need to turn our attention to that which lives “behind” the self, learning through practice to hand that sense of self back to its original nature.

That sense of self has habits driven by the emotions. We are learning to contain them through practice, but we have the greatest difficulty doing this. By turning inwards and opening up to ourselves through containment we can hand that habit to the Buddha.

Cultivate the practice of bowing and with your awareness focused inward ask him to help you with your burden. Admit you cannot contain this emotion on your own. You so much want to give this sense of self away and be free from its eternal bondage, but you cannot do it on your own. Bow down to the Buddha and ask him with the utmost humility to help you. Disarm yourself of your defences and conceit and ask him to support you in your time of need. Does this sound a bit God-like and Christian? The Buddha is not “out there”, nor has he created you, nor is he a separate entity that comes to your aid, but your true nature that you live out of second by second and have done so since time began. He is eternity, everything, and beyond comprehension. But because his nature is one of wisdom and compassionate warmth, he “brings himself down” to your level so that you can comprehend and communicate with him. Learn to trust and over and over again, through containment and bowing, hand that precious “me” back. Back into the inconceivable warmth and love that yearns to help you. So that one day you will return and re-unite with the wonder of the Buddha, and your true home.