Dalai Lama Quote from Snow Lion Publications

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Dalai Lama Quote of the Week

The Three Refuges
What are the methods for causing one’s own mind to become the practices? Initially, one should take refuge and think about actions and their effects. The refuge is the Three Jewels: Buddha, his Doctrine and the Spiritual Community.

[Buddha] When a sentient being purifies the taints of his own mind as well as their latent predispositions, he is free of all defects that act as obstructions. Thus, he simultaneously and directly knows all phenomena. Such a being is called a Buddha, and he is a teacher of refuge, like a physician.

[Dharma] The Doctrine jewel is the superior paths–the chief right paths which remove the taints as well as their latent predispositions–and the absences which are states of having removed what is to be removed. The Doctrine is the actual refuge, like medicine.

[Sangha] The Spiritual Community jewel is all persons, whether lay or ordained, who have generated a superior path in their continuum. They are friends helping one to achieve refuge, like nurses.

The three refuges that have been achieved and presently exist in other beings’ continuums are one’s own causal refuge; one relies on a protector just as a weak person takes refuge in a stronger person. The three refuges that one will attain in the future are one’s own effect refuge. One who relies on the Three Jewels from the point of view of knowing that he is to attain them, must cause them to be generated in his own continuum.(p.35)

–from The Buddhism of Tibet by the Dalai Lama, translated and edited by Jeffrey Hopkins, with Anne Klein, published by Snow Lion Publications

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