Taking refuge means accepting the Three Jewels – the Buddha, the Dharma, the Sangha – as safe shelters of stability, truth and peace in an ever insecure, unstable and suffering world. A person accepts the Three Jewels as the essential path to transcend suffering and to realize Zen as entrusting to a life of highest spiritual values and maturity.
It is not just an intellectual acceptance of the Buddhist teachings, but a total reorientation and realization of one's life and personal aim. This means totally embodying (becoming one with) the Three Jewels or Refuges, thus ultimately striving to overcome the dualistic mind, the source of all suffering.
Taking refuge in the Buddha is to enter the living source of understanding, realization and compassion, symbolized as the Buddha and his historic human manifestation as Gautama Siddhartha Shakyamuni. We can clearly see this historical Buddha as the greatest teacher and the embodiment of our true human potential, while realizing that each one of us has the same, innate Buddha (enlightenment) nature.
Taking refuge in the Dharma is to take refuge in reality as it is (versus how we fancy it to be), in oneness (vs. dualism), Buddha's teachings and the path of understanding, realization and compassion (vs. ego-driven ambitions).
Taking refuge in the Sangha is to enter a community that practices an authentic Buddhist path (rather than independent persuasions) and strives to manifest and embody enlightenment here and now (over futuristic concepts).
The Three Jewels are present in every quarter of the universe as well as in our hearts, in every person and in all other species inhabiting the universe. By dedicating ourselves to learn, practice and embody the Three Jewels, we will have a stable vehicle to nourish the ability of love and understanding as well as to gain knowledge of who we really are.
A Few Things to Know....
In order to take the Buddhist Precepts, you must first register your identity details.
If you are not a formal Zen student, you should have been at least an active member with Lotus Zen Temple for a reasonable period of time before taking the Zen Buddhist Precepts.
A candidate should have general knowledge about Buddhism, a sincere desire to meditate in the style of Zen, readiness to follow the Precepts as best as possible and demonstrate moral integrity.
Taking the Precepts alone does not constitute ordination, unless one takes Jukai. The Khata and a Dharma name are however given to the Preceptor at the ceremony.
Once you are ready after personal preparation to take the Precepts, please fill out the form below. The Master will contact you in order to set up an interview. Regular Precept Ceremonies at Lotus Zen Temple are usually scheduled for the first Sunday of March, June, September and December; but they can be taken at any time upon prior arrangement.