Since the time of the Buddha, people have expressed their commitment to follow the Buddha’s teachings and the Buddhist path of practice by taking refuge in the Three Jewels and by receiving the transmission of the five Buddhist precepts or trainings. Taking Refuge means to take refuge in the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. By taking refuge we express our trust in our own capacity to awaken, in the path of practice and mindful living, and in the sangha community to provide a refuge of safety, guidance, and support.
In the Thich Nhat Hanh tradition, this is expressed as:
- I take refuge in the Buddha, the one who shows me the way in this life.
- I take refuge in the Dharma, the path of understanding and love.
- I take refuge in the Sangha, the community that lives in harmony and awareness
Thich Nhat Hanh has formulated the traditional five Buddhist precepts as The Five Mindfulness Trainings. They provide the basis for living in ways that create happiness and relieve suffering for ourselves and for others. They are not authoritative rules imposed from the outside to be blindly adhered to. Rather, when we receive the Five Mindfulness Trainings we are committing to using them as guidelines for reflecting on our own aspirations, and on our behavior and its consequences, in order to live a more consciously aware life.
Our teacher, Fred, was formally authorized by Thich Nhat Hanh to transmit the refuges and trainings. He conducted a Transmission Ceremony in Tampa, Florida on March 16, 2014 for 23 individuals who took Refuge and received the Five Mindfulness Trainings.
Information about Taking Refuge and The Five Mindfulness Trainings can be found on the FCM website under Deepening Practice