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Lions Roar : March 2018
So becoming a refugee is acknowledging that we are homeless and groundless, and it is acknowledging that there is really no need for home, or ground. Taking refuge is an expres- sion of freedom, because as refugees we are no longer bounded by the need for security. We are suspended in a no-man’s land in which the only thing to do is to relate with the teachings and with ourselves. Taking refuge in the Buddha as an example, taking refuge in the dharma as the path, and taking refuge in the sangha as compan- ionship is very clean-cut, very definite, very precise, and very clear. People have done this for the past twenty-five hundred years of the Buddhist tradition. By taking refuge you receive that particular heritage into your own system; you join that particular wisdom that has existed for twenty-five hundred years without interruption and without corrup- tion. It is very direct and very simple. Adapted from The Heart of the Buddha, published by Shambhala Publications. ©1991 by Diana J. Mukpo. * Trust the Three Treasures by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold THE THREE TREASURES—the Buddha, dharma, and sangha—are the path to the awakened mind, and they are that awaken- ing itself. They point to the ultimate nature that is realized through practice, as well as to how that nature manifests in our practice and actualization, and how we embody our understanding of the real nature of things. The Buddha, dharma, and sangha are the real activity of compassion that has been passed down through many generations. They point to how real people seek real truth in a particular time and place. At the same time, the three treasures are timeless: they are free of changing times and con- ditions; they reach everywhere. To take refuge in the three treasures, says Master Dogen in his classic Shobogenzo, is to unreservedly rely on them. To depend on them to that degree, they have to be worthy of our trust. This means that we must also have that depth of trust in ourselves, for the three treasures are nothing other than our real nature. To take refuge in the three treasures is not to go through life safely, hugging the leash. It’s to leap forward with profound trust in the natural wisdom present in all phenomena. These three treasures are our body and mind, and the body and mind of everything, sentient and insentient. Let us, then, each be honest and sincere, shaking off the constraints of gain and loss, success and failure. To let go of all judgment and self-clinging, to relieve ourselves of the burden of self-promotion and self-denigration—isn’t this how we inspire others, and are inspired ourselves? Isn’t this how we can lead, by embodying liberation, demonstrating the Way, being the Way? Isn’t this being one with the Buddha, dharma, and sangha? ♦ PHOTO:OUTDOOR-ARCHIV/ALAMYSTOCKPHOTO LION’S ROAR | MARCH 2018 65