The Meaning of ‘Refuge’



Beyond ritual and ceremony ‘Going for Refuge’ is an expression of your training. To understand what the word ‘refuge’ means is to touch the very heart and spirit of what training means. Learning to give yourself and surrender your attachments to your precious opinions and habits is always going to be a big challenge, but to understand this importance and the way we cultivate this act of giving is to discover the true spirit of this ancient ritual.




Rob Grant:

Aloka explains that taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha is a central, non-negotiable feature of the Buddhist path. It requires that we surrender everything that defines us as an individual. It is a huge challenge–we cannot do it on our own.


Karen Piggin:

The profundity of going for refuge is made clear in this talk – can we leave behind our wordily conditioning and open to something unknown? Āloka asks us to test “where am I with my training – where do I stand in taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha” and I realise that this is something I have not recently done. Another timely reminder to be continually questioning myself, what I do, my motives, and that the guidance of a teacher and support of the Sangha are essential.


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