For all persons entering the teachings of the Buddha, Buddha Dharma, Refuge is a necessary sacrament, but the outward ritual —while it can be helpful to our minds— is only a confirmation of an inner disposition to learn and practice the Way.
There are many who go through the Refuge ceremony and experience no transformation, while there are others who accept the Dharma in their hearts and have no need of external rituals.
Especially for those who are practicing members of a faith tradition that may interpret Buddhist Refuge as incompatible with their dogma, I am very careful not to put them in a situation where they might feel uncomfortable. If performing a public Refuge ceremony is not prudent, it is best to accept the guidance of the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha privately and inwardly.
The Mahayana sutras define Buddha Nature as true purity, true…
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