Last week with started the theme of getting to know the sangha by hearing the answers different sangha members give to questions about what the three jewels mean to them. Now we’ll continue with Liesl’s answers.
Any image of the Buddha is so peaceful and comforting to me, and given the popularity of this image in the west, I am afforded many opportunities to take refuge in the peace of his image daily. The statue on my personal shrine is a way for me to visually connect with my intention to wake up. I spend a minute or two before I start meditating, just looking at his calm face, his relaxed and confident posture, and I can connect with those qualities in myself.
What does ‘taking refuge in the Dharma’ mean to you personally?
There are many suttas and lists I’ve been exposed to since becoming a Buddhist, and they are all meaningful to me. The eightfold path and the four reminders are two teachings that I really find helpful. When I find myself suffering, which is daily, I can bring these to mind and know that this human life is precious and there is a path out of suffering if I choose to take it.
What does ‘taking refuge in the Sangha’ mean to you personally?
The sangha is the jewel I take refuge in most tangibly at this time in my life. Moving to a new city that fortunately has a Triratna Buddhist community is a huge comfort and support. Sangha night, when we meet as a community to meditate and discuss the dharma is a highlight in my week. And I’ve made connections with some sangha members and we meet up on other days too. It’s like having an instant family of like-minded people.
Thank you, Liesl!