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Buddhists/taking refuge


  I have been exploring Buddhism for a while and now feel ready to take Refuge. I have the opportunity to take it in February in a Mahayana center and later in the year in a Theravada center.
   My question is - I feel drawn to aspects of both traditions - do I take refuge in each tradition or do I take refuge once and that is ok and enough for both traditions?
   many thanks.

Dear Adele Redfern,

Thank you for the opportunity to answer your question.

Taking refuge is not a one time thing. It is an ongoing process. Over the course of your practice, you will be taking refuge many times. Most Theravada ceremonies start with the taking refuge process.

The more important part is internal. Externally, the taking refuge process is just a generic ceremony. However, how you perceive and internalize is the important part. No one enforces your taking refuge, no one follows up on you. It is personal and private.

You can take refuge in both traditions, because you are not taking refuge in the traditions, rather you are taking the Buddha Dhamma and Sangha.

Yes, doing a taking refuge ceremony once is more than enough. However, as I said, more than once (before ceremonies, during chanting, before meditation) is fine too.


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