Must Buddhists Be Soft-Spoken?

17 April 2010 - 1:47am Comments Off

Some people, their words are very rough. However, because their words are true, they are kind and will benefit others. We’re a little afraid of them, but we like them. Our minds will reflect our speech and our body, and our minds will reflect how much the Dharma has been achieved. Our minds and actions will show if we are taking refuge just as a ritual or if we are actually practising refuge.

Refuge is submitting oneself fully, with total faith and trust in one’s Guru and the power of the Three Jewels to teach and help us traverse the path to Enlightenment. The reason for practising refuge is very simple – to avoid the Three lower realms for ourselves and the ones we love. If you practise badly, you will set a bad example and you can pull the people around you down. If you do that, you not only have the karma of yourself, but the other person.

So refuge is the basic principle of Buddhism. Whether we’ve formally taken refuge or not doesn’t matter. The minute we bow down to the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, and we trust in them, we should act as a person who has taken refuge. Sangha refers to the pantheon of all enlightened Beings and to monastic communities. Generally, the Sangha are all practitioners of the Buddhist path. So people shouldn’t run around and say, “Oh, I don’t have refuge, I have refuge.” No, no – if you believe in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, you should follow the refuge principles and understand it.


Tsem Rinpoche

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