Question: If I hesitate taking the Threefold Refuge and committing to the Five Precepts, am I belittling their importance? Will I ever be ready?
Answer: It might be so, that there is ‘belittlement’, especially if you already think so. If you understand the immeasurable value of refuge and precepts, you will not hesitate at all. Refuge ensures an encounter with the Triple Gem in the next life. The Five Precepts ensure at least a human rebirth. (Pure Land practice ensures getting on the swiftest path to Buddhahood.) You thus have much more to learn, so as to transform your ambivalence to enthusiasm. This is why you should come to Dharma classes and practice sessions.
If you postpone your decision, the question is HOW are you planning to get ‘more ready’? You will never ever be ready if you do not do the above. Taking refuge in the Triple Gem is the first step towards BECOMING the Triple Gem – which is the ultimate goal of all Buddhists, to be Buddhas who embody and express the Dharma, who are part of, and lead the noble Sangha. Taking the Five (very basic) precepts is to express wanting to be a moral person. It is the first step toward goodness and purity. How can you not be motivated at all if you wish to be a sincere practising Buddhist?
Why Take Threefold Refuge & Receive Five Precepts?
Why We Must Keep Learning