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Refuge and Lay Vows Saka Dawa 2018

6:30 pm Tuesday, May 29, 2018

On this auspicious holy day, Saka Dawa, Geshe Sangpo will offer Refuge, and the Five Lay Vows. It is especially wonderful to be able to take these vows on a Buddha holy day, when the karmic effects of our actions increase exponentially!

Taking refuge vows is making a commitment to Buddhism as one's spiritual path. It also creates a karmic bond with the teacher who offers the vows. When you take refuge in the Three Jewels, the refuge master conferring the vows will also give you a refuge name in Tibetan.

The Five Lay Vows are a set of basic ethical principals, vows not to kill, take what has not been given, lie, take intoxicants or commit sexual misconduct (that is, have sex with someone else's partner). The Five Lay Vows are lifetime vows, so only need to be taken once, and should be taken with the confidence you will keep them.

 

Geshe Sangpo will offer a Refuge and Five Lay Vows ceremony.  Taking Refuge is making a commitment to the Buddha-Dharma as your spiritual path. Refuge must be taken with a qualified master, and creates a karmic bond between the student and the master offering the vows.

In order to participate, you must register ahead of time.  The deadline to register is Friday, May 25. Registration is closed.

Students who have already taken refuge are welcome to attend and renew their vows, but should not register.

Geshe Gelek recommends anyone interested in taking refuge should read the refuge section in the book Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand (available in our bookstore). He also taught a class on refuge in 2013 for students interested in the ceremony - you can listen to it in the recordings section of our website.

The ceremony will likely be in Tibetan, but it is first explained in English what you are saying. Please plan to be there at least 15 minutes before the ceremony starts. At the end of the ceremony, it is traditional to offer two katas (white offering scarfs, available in the bookstore) - one to the Buddha statue on the altar, and one to the teacher giving the vows, who returns it by placing it over your head as a blessing. While we often have spare ones to lend, it is best to buy them so you are actually making an offering of your own. It is also auspicious to give the teacher a gift, typically money (any amount) in an envelope, in appreciation for the incredible gift he has just given you with this opportunity. The center will also be giving you a copy of the FPMT booklet on refuge and how to practice it daily.