On Taking Refuge in the Buddha

On Taking Refuge in the Buddha

“Whoever sees his true nature is a Buddha.”
-Bodhidharma

What does it mean when we say we are taking refuge in the Buddha?

For most of us Refuge Vows are taken fairly early in our practice. Does taking refuge mean that we’re asking the Buddha to do something for us? No. The Buddha was just a man. When we go for refuge in the Buddha, we are declaring that we want to follow his example. But, we are also taking refuge in the Buddha within, our true Enlightened self. The state of Awakening that is within us is what we are really taking refuge in.

When the Buddha saw his true nature he became Enlightened. This is a journey that we can take as well.

At our core, we are Enlightened, we just can’t see it because our minds are obscured by layers of delusion. But, deep down, the truth is there. Our journey involves penetrating through these layers of delusion to find our true nature, to know it intuitively.

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About Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg is an independent dharma teacher living in Kansas City. He gives online teachings through the Open Heart Project. His writing has appeared in Lion's Roar, Patheos, Tattooed Buddha, and Elephant Journal.

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