Awoke to the morning star, a sight that occasioned with his perfect enlightenment – the Buddha has aspired to help sentient beings to dispel their delusions, cut through the illusory phenomena, and to see the profundity of their luminous nature. Before we practice Buddhadharma, our mind is deluded by fixations on family matters, love affair, career, and others. We are caught with conflicts, confrontations, and sufferings. Such life is like a ship navigating in the ocean without a compass and to be pushed around by waves. After learning about Dharma, we understand transience as everything will come to ceasing. All are filled with suffering, emptiness, and impermanence. We understand that there is more than one lifetime. This one is just a droplet in the long river of life. While countless drops are accumulated and flowing incessantly, this river will eventually return to the great ocean of wisdom and awareness – the source of life.
Practicing Dharma is to see the benefits and origin of life holistically. It is to find reliance for our life until enlightenment, this is called “Taking Refuge”. It is more like a compass than a ceremony. We take Refuge in the truth and to rediscover ourselves. Allow our mind to work with proper contemplation, direction, and goals – so to have a meaningful life.
Every individual has an intrinsic spirituality. However, lacking the experiences and methods, we cannot find it. That is why we must learn from the experienced Buddha, the Awakened One. Taking Refuge is like registering a course with the Buddha to study about fulfilling life and stop getting by days aimlessly. It is like taking a remedy that stabilizes our mind to a pure state, and liberation at last. Taking Refuge is like a continuous maintenance of our own merits and wisdom. Not only is it the beginning, but also the foundation of Dharma practice.