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Date(s) - 07/09/2022
6:45 pm - 8:00 pm


Please join us online by Zoom, Wednesday evenings, 6:45-8:00pm. We value Sangha (spiritual community) and the opportunity to be together. We will use this time for lightly guided meditation, a short check in to see how we can support one another, and exploration of a Buddhist topic. The facilitator will offer brief remarks and guide discussion as a way to focus our practice on that week’s theme. Themes may run several weeks, but each week can serve as a stand-alone session. We look forward to seeing you and sharing our love and kindness for the wellness of all beings.

All are welcome!

itual and Devotion – Refuges & Precepts

This week we continue our explorations of Ritual and Devotion by turning our attention to the Refuges and Precepts recited the world over.

What is a refuge? What is a precept? And why do we recite part of the refuges and precepts in the ancient language of Pali?

A refuge is a place of safety, a haven where we can experience a sense of security from harm and discomfort. Perhaps a tent, a personal relationship or career has provided these and other experiences of security. Yet all people, places and things are continuously shifting and changing as life rolls on, despite our best efforts to cling to emotional security. A true refuge will give you exactly what it says it will every time. The Buddha, going forth from the known pleasures of his life, into the unknown, and rejecting both the path of indulgence and deprivation and coming to the middle way of wisdom and compassion, and offering us a path to follow towards awakening by our own efforts, leads the way.

This recognition of the gifts of the Three Jewels can be inspiring and worthy of reverent salutations, Homage, Respect, Appreciation and gratitude. As a Buddhist we ‘go for refuge’ to the historical Buddha, his teachings, the Dharma, and the noble Sangha of awakened practitioners that have gone before.
A precept is a suggestion, a guide, a training principle, not a commandment. The five precepts in negative form cover Not harming, Not stealing, not engaging in sexual misconduct, not using false speech or intoxicants.

When we recite in Pali “Panatipata Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami” we are saying “I undertake the training principle not to cause harm.” It is good to know what we are repeating, so an understanding in one’s own language can be useful. Yet if the Refuges and Precepts were chanted in all languages, it would lack continuity and connection with the past. The Pali language is as close as we can get to what the buddha spoke, so by reciting parts in Pali, we can imagine a connection not only in present day but also back through time. At any Triratna center in the world, you can hear the refuges and precepts chanted in pali as we do on Wednesday evenings.

When we prepare to pay homage to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and enter into this ancient chant expressing our highest aspirations, our everyday present moment experience can become more elevated, positive and aware

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Nagaloka’s Friends Night overview Nagaloka handout friends night July 2020

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