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How Is The Threefold Refuge Both Vows & Precepts?

Question: Is it alright for ‘Buddhists’ who had taken the Threefold Refuge in the Triple Gem (of the Buddhas, Dharma and Sangha) to totally immerse themselves in other ‘spiritual’ groups, with essentially different (i.e. non-Buddhist...

Why Take Threefold Refuge & Receive Five Precepts? 为何受三皈持五戒?

First, be inspired by the Triple Gem to take refuge in the Triple Gem. – Shilashanti As the Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng (净土宗十三祖印光大师) taught in his ‘Third Reply Letter To Layperson Gāo Shàolín’...

Why Take Threefold Refuge?

Worldly teachers will let you down, but the world-transcended Buddhas’ pure blessings will never let you down – thus should you take refuge in the Buddhas. Worldly teachings will let you down, but the world-transcending Dharma’s perfect...

Will I Be Ready For Refuge & Precepts?

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....

Can We Take Refuge On Behalf Of The Deceased?

Question: Can we take the Threefold Refuge and receive the Five Precepts on behalf of deceased loved ones? Answer: While going through the above ceremonies, we can think of ourselves as doing so with departed loved ones (or even all beings). However,...

Can Animals Take Refuge?

Question: Is it alright to get pets to take the Threefold Refuge in the Triple Gem? Although all sentient beings have Buddha-nature, can animals understand refuge? Answer: Getting animals to take refuge is done in the hope that there might be some...

Should Refuge And The Five Precepts Go Together?

自皈依佛,当愿众生,体解大道,发无上心。 自皈依法,当愿众生,深入经藏,智慧如海。 自皈依僧,当愿众生,统理大众,一切无碍,和南圣众。 – 三依文(华严经) Personally taking refuge...

Is Taking Refuge A Must For Buddhists?

Question: Must one go through the Threefold Refuge ceremony to be a proper Buddhist? Why is it so important? Answer: It is best to do so formally though it is not an absolute must. It is important because to go through the short and solemn ceremony...

Can A Baby Take Refuge In Buddhism?

To take the Threefold Refuge unmindfully or insincerely is to only create an imprint with little impact. – Stonepeace Buddhism does not accept the Christian notion of original sin, so Buddhists do not think infants are inherently sinful. If an infant...

What Does The Buddha Take Refuge In?

Be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves, seeking no other refuge; with the Dharma as your island, the Dharma as your refuge, seeking no other refuge. ~ The Buddha Shortly after the Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi (Enlightenment)...

Have You Taken Refuge in the Inner Triple Gem?

Taking refuge in the Buddha, may all beings succeed and glorify the Buddha seed, giving rise to the unsurpassable aspiration [for Buddhahood]. Taking refuge in the Dharma, may all beings deeply enter the treasury of sutras, and widen their wisdom like...

Have You Taken True & Total Refuge Yet?

Those who need not constantly take the Threefold Refuge must have become the Threefold Refuge themselves. – Stonepeace While witnessing hundreds receiving the Threefold Refuge, I reflected on its true meaning. We take refuge when we recognise the...

I’m Taking A Ride With My Best Friend

It all seems so stupid, it makes me want to give up… – Shame: First half of chorus (Depeche Mode) The classic 1987 Depeche Mode concert anthem, ‘Never Let Me Down Again‘, is about a debatable ‘best friend’, who is taking...

How The Buddha Redirected A Precious Offering

Being the fundamental source of physical kindness in our lives, our parents should first to be repaid, by sharing the Dharma learnt with them. – Shilashanti As recounted by the Pure Land Tradition’s 2nd Patriarch Great Master Shàndǎo (净土宗二祖善导大师)...

Can Buddhists Convert To Other Religions?

Question: Can a Buddhist, having taken the Threefold Refuge in the Triple Gem formally, convert to another faith? What about one who also committed to the Five Precepts? Answer: Since there is no one forcing any Buddhist to remain a Buddhist, it is not...
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