“Take refuge only in yourself”
In the beginning of Buddhist practices we find the taking of refuge as a fundamental teaching.
The take of refuge really means to connect. Connect is the same as being in deep harmony with something.
Through the taking of refuge not only seek protection for our soul, but and above all, we recover the connection with the essence.
The Buddha is the refuge in the essence of the mind, it is the primordial nature.
Dharma is wisdom, it is the energy of nature in harmony, equilibrium and unity. It’s all the teachings and the realization.
Shanga is the whole of the bodhisattvas. They are all people and beings who walk in the same compassionate direction of deliverance from suffering.
The taking of outer refuge is a relative refuge, which will offer the vision of the Bhuda, the Dharma and the Sangha external to us.
Zen Refuge Prayer
I take refuge in the Buddha
I take refuge in the Dharma
I take refuge in the Sangha
Tibetan Prayer of Refuge
SANG GYE CHÖ TANG TSOK KYI CHOK NAM LA
In the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha
JANG CHUB PAR TU DAK NI KYAB SU CHI
To reach the lighting I take refuge.
DAK GUI GUE JOR GYI PEY SÖ NAM KYI
For the merit of my positive actions,
DRO LA PEN CHIR SANG GYE DRUB PAR SHOk
I can reach the budeity to benefit all beings.
The Inner Refuge
The inner shelter will help us find the Bhuda in our hearts. It is the absolute refuge, where the duality of the inner and outer refuge are dissolved and we find ourselves with our own budicas nature and our awakened qualities.
The essence of the practice of taking refuge is to recognize the Buddha-essence in ourselves.
One of the most beautiful refuge practices I have ever known is the internal refuge transmitted by master Tenzin Wgangyal Rinpoche.
It is a practice where we seek to connect with the essence of ourselves through the three bodies, which will help us to connect and open the three doors of liberation: emptiness, awareness and spaciousness.
The teaching of the inner refuge is simple because through the connection with the body, the silence in ourselves and the inner space, we manage to take refuge in our own body of emptiness, in our body of light and in the spaces of the mind.