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Taking Refuge and Entering the Buddhist Path - with Lama Zangmo

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Teacher: Lama Gelongma Zangmo
Anyone is welcome to attend this event!

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Taking refuge is the first formal step on the Buddhist path. This day will be an explanation of what it means to take refuge. Spiritual refuge is a protection and eventual freedom from the confusion and suffering of cyclic existence (samsara).

The genuine sources of spiritual refuge are the Three Jewels: the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. The ultimate refuge is our own mind, our Buddha nature.

It is because the Buddha Nature, or potential, is common to all beings that they are capable of attaining enlightenment. For example: a stone doesn’t have the potential to produce oil, and so no matter how much you might press it and grind it—even if you use modern tools and machinery—you will never extract any oil. A sesame seed, on the other hand, does have the potential to produce oil, and by pressing it in the right way, sesame oil can and will be produced. Like that the potential exists as part of our basic nature.

The day of teachings will also cover topics such as the importance of receiving refuge from an authentic and unbroken lineage of transmission, the role of faith and trust, and how to relate to the refuge ceremony itself, as well as the importance of taking refuge with the right motivation.

Akong Tulku Rinpoche used to say that if you want to use the Buddhist teachings to work on yourself to become a better human being, in order to benefit yourself and be of benefit to others, then you are ready to take refuge.

This course is suitable for anyone wishing to deepen their understanding of the Buddhist teachings and can be attended as a course on its own or as part of the monthly Introduction to Buddhism series which comprises 5 one day teachings:

  1. Introduction to Buddhism - 8th February
  2. The Four Thoughts That Turn the Mind to the Dharma - 7th March
  3. Taking Refuge and Entering the Buddhist Path - 11th April
  4. The Spiritual Friend - 9th May
  5. Cultivating Bodhicitta, Loving Kindness and Compassion - 13th June 

Suitable for anyone wishing to gain more familiarity with the Buddhist teachings.

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Traditionally the Buddhist teachings are given freely because they are considered priceless and those receiving the teachings practice generosity, or Dana, by making monetary offerings for the centre. This generosity is not payment for goods or services rendered; it is an offering given, freely from the heart, in appreciation for receiving the precious instructions that can help better one’s life and the lives of others.

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