Ceremony for taking Refuge
Ceremony for Taking Refuge in Sangha
as we enter our new space.
All you who are committed to an intentioned mindful life, seeing the truth
of suffering and recognizing the path to its end, are you willing to offer your
practice today for the benefit of all beings? Signify by saying, “I will”!
We now turn for refuge to the most reliable source:
To those who are awakened and have chosen the path to awakening;
IN YOU WE TAKE REFUGE.
To the path and to the teachings that lead to the path towards freedom
from needless suffering;
IN YOU WE TAKE REFUGE.
To our precious community and sangha family, our brothers and sisters with whom we practice, both here
and there, in this place of refuge and in all places, to the Sangha of beings
with whom we can always trust: IN YOU WE TAKE REFUGE.
In recognition of the gift of this space and the honoring of all those who enter
here, may we commit ourselves whole-heartedly to these precepts:
May this space and the sangha that joins to practice within these walls,
welcome all those who might benefit from our practice and fellowship.
May all who enter here, know our kindness. May it always be in evidence and
may our true hearts intention for the well being of all beings, be extended in
all directions, to all beings everywhere without exception.
We agree that harming others, harms ourselves and all beings. Therefore, we
undertake to protect life and to avoid being the cause of harm.
By so doing, may all beings who enter here feel safe, protected and have ease
of being. So be it!
We agree that taking things that have not been given to us harms ourselves and
others. Therefore, we undertake to respect and protect others’ property and to
avoid taking what has not been freely given. By so doing, may all beings who
enter here be secure and feel the harmony and generosity that is at the heart of
this sangha. So be it!
We agree that engaging in exploitative sexual behavior harms ourselves, our community and others.
Therefore, we undertake to respect our own and others’ bodies, to use our physical
abilities wisely and kindly, and to avoid conduct which could harm those
deserving of protection and care. By so doing, may all who enter here be able to
relate in an honest and affectionate manner without fear and trust that mutual
respect will always be accorded them. So be it!
We agree that speaking about others, saying that which is untrue or using harsh
language harms ourselves and others. Therefore, we undertake to speak truthfully and
in a way that will help others. By so doing, may all who enter here trust our
words, intention and friendship. So be it!
We agree that altering our clear-seeing mind with intoxicants can harm ourselves and
others. Therefore, we agree to refrain from using altering substances in our
sangha space. By so doing, may our mindfulness and alert attention be of
service to those in need. May all who enter here view our actions actions as
thoughtful and life serving.
By honoring these precepts in this, our sangha home, may we too enter the
path to liberation and be of continual service through this noble conduct, both here and there and everywhere.
May all beings throughout all time and space reap the benefits of our living in accord with these precepts!
May we be fully awake for the benefit of all beings.
Blessings to all beings everywhere, Diana