The Triple Gem

Good Morning All :) 

Last night we met, meditated, and discussed Taking Refuge in the Triple Gem. 

Some of us may be familiar with an induction before meditation where we join palms and... 
'take refuge in the Buddha, take refuge in the Dharma, and take refuge in the Sangha' 

but what does this all mean? 
To take refuge in the Buddha - belief that we can end our own suffering 
To take refuge in the Dharma - the teachings of the Buddha will guide us 
To take refuge in the Sangha, or community, such as Delta Beta Tau... 

When you hear, read, or think of the word Refuge, what comes to mind? 
Hope, Safety, Comfort, Protection, Shelter 

What does it mean in our lives, to take refuge in the Triple Gem? 
Here are a few responses..... 

*Protection of the Senses - when I am present with my breath, I have an increased awareness of my surroundings, of the little things that make me happy, like hearing someone laugh. 

*When I see Wendi, I give her a huge hug. I take refuge in greeting a friend, giving some of myself for someone else. 

*Smiling at Strangers, sometimes you get strange reactions, but when a stranger smiles back, F*** yeah! 

*Taking refuge in understanding that greed is not my true nature 

*I take refuge in the Sangha of Delta Beta Tau, I appreciate the diversity, and acceptance. I didn't know I needed it until it was already here, I have gratitude. 

*Refuge in helping other people - helping a lady with groceries, or giving money. Often in our society we are raised to be strong, selfish individuals. To help people with no expectation in return can be perceived as very, very strange. 

This is the practice of the Bodhisattva - to give without expecting anything back. Reflect when you give, do you feel good before giving? Do you feel good while giving? Do you feel good after giving? Or do you expect something in return for your giving? 

*Compassion can heal/fix any problem. 

*This Sangha is not for us. We all come in to this practice to help us, originally. But the reason we suffer is from a strong attachment to our own identity. Our practice can lead us to dissolve this attachment to the ego, then we can see this practice is For The Benefit of Others* 

*To ask, what can I do for humanity? 
But - I've been raised on selfishness, material items have the ability to define me, because of this, it is so important to stay compassionate. Then, what you do for others defines who you are. 

*The more we delve into the practice of Buddhist principles, it can be challenging, 'you mean, I have to be nice to everybody?' To be compassionate towards everyone? 

*We come from a history of survival, at one point, it was necessary to be selfish to survive. Don't get discouraged when acts of compassion go unnoticed. Don't get discouraged. 

*Nature favors communities, communities that work together. 

*There is a Ted Talk, asking the question; can money buy happiness? Those who received money and used it for others were happier, than those who received money and used it for themselves. I know we all believe in this, but there is statistical evidence to back it up. wink emoticon 

*I went to 7-eleven at 12am and brought the homeless outside a variety of chips and snacks. They started trading snacks, it was pure happiness. Like when you were young and you had grapes for lunch and your friend had popcorn, so you'd trade! 

*What does it mean to find comfort and protection in the true Nature of your Self? Not your clothes, not your identity......... 

*I used to think I always had to be something, to be a certain way. Dissolving these expectations I recognize the self will take care of itself, as I remain consistent in character.... 

*Have any of you practiced introspection? Looking back at experiences and moving forward, to achieve a 'right view'? 

*There are times and feelings of hopelessness. But when I look back and see all that I've gone through and endured, I look back to my old self, and recognize that is not me now. I take refuge in my (present) self. 

*Relax, nothing is under control. I seek refuge in the duality and impermanence of it all* 

*In philosophy, there are so many questions. The question is an illusion, created by human kind. There Is No Question. 

*Stress comes from asking myself, 'what should I be doing?'. I think of the tree that bears fruit, just to bear fruit. 

*We are part of nature, nature lives through us 

*All you can do, is what you are doing. What you are doing, is all you can do. You cannot do anything other than what you are doing. 

I hope you all have a day of compassion and presence....

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