August 26, 2009
Venture Fourth Fall Intensive

Wednesday evening refuges

Keywords: Refuges, Venture Fourth

Aaron: My blessings and love to all of you. I am Aaron. It is a great joy to have you all together. I've been looking forward to this for several years., pre-planning, encouraging Barbara to consider this project, and I'm very glad we are here together and doing it.

I want to keep my remarks short. I'll talk more tomorrow morning. For now we simply come to the refuges. The traditional refuges suggest we take refuge in the Buddha, the dharma and the sangha. The Buddha is awakened nature. The word Buddha literally means "the one who is awake." There is an historical Buddha, of course, but who else is the one who is awake? You! You, you, you, you... You may be dozing a bit right now but you're capable of awakening.

Take refuge in that divine awakened nature. A refuge means a place to rest. Imagine yourself climbing up a ladder that goes thousands of feet up and how tired you would become if there was no plateau, no resting place. But when you pause at that plateau and you just sit, you look out at the magnificent view. You look and see there's a distance to go but you look out and you know, "I am ascending. I am ascending in consciousness. I am waking up. I am beginning to know the truth of my being and how to live that truth." It's a resting place, a refuge.

Take refuge in the dharma, or stated a different way, simply in the truth of how things are in this moment. Here is this wonderful room with your energy and the beautiful lake and the trees. Open hearts. Such beautiful intention that each of you have come with. Take refuge in these loving hearts. Take refuge in your divine intention to serve all beings and the world with love; to do the hard inner work; to transform that which is unwholesome in the personality and release it so the radiance can shine through.

Take refuge in the sangha, this very special sangha right here and the broader sangha of all of those all over the world and of so many religious and cultures who gather, one or two or one or two hundred, with the intention to bring greater love into the world and to help invite the raising of a higher consciousness – a higher vibration, if I might phrase it this way – on the earth. Can you rest there? Feel the support of that worldwide loving sangha, not just of humans, but of crystals, of flowers, of everything that is radiant and loving on the earth.

So let us do this together in the traditional Buddhist phrasing. On your chant sheets...

I will say it and then please repeat it back to me 3 times...

(Sanskrit/Pali not transcribed.)

Now we return to the refuges. Please repeat after me. Call and response, I will say it and you will say it with me the second time.

(Not transcribed.)


(recording ends)