BHNN Guest Podcast – Ep. 171 – Stream of Refuge and Confidence with Gil Fronsdal

Gil Fronsdal discusses having confidence in what the Buddha represents within ourselves and being a refuge for all beings.

This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at and get on your way to being your best self.

“There are two places in the suttas where the Buddha does give instruction about refuge…the first one, near the end of his life, he said ‘make yourself a refuge, make yourself an island.’ How do you make yourself a refuge? By practicing the four foundations of mindfulness.” – Gil Fronsdal

This time on the BHNN Guest Podcast, Gil Fronsdal explains:
  • How the Buddha defined confidence and fate
  • Instructions from the Buddha on making oneself a refuge
  • Being a refuge and support for all beings
  • Personal worth and finding yourself in community
  • The benefit of having confidence in ourselves and in our practice
  • The imperfections that stain the mind
  • Having confidence in that which the Buddha represents within ourselves
  • Reflecting on the times when our minds are not caught
  • How the dharma is visible here and now, not there and then
  • The balance between responsibility and allowing natural unfolding

“The reference point for having confidence or faith or trust in the Buddha is not in the great power and wisdom of the Buddha, but rather something that we can know for ourselves, that we realize is reflected in the Buddha.” – Gil Fronsdal

This 2014 talk was originally published by Dharmaseed.
About Gil Fronsdal:

Gil Fronsdal is the co-teacher for the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, California; he has been teaching since 1990. He has practiced Zen and Vipassana in the U.S. and Asia since 1975. He was a Theravada monk in Burma in 1985, and in 1989 began training with Jack Kornfield to be a Vipassana teacher. Gil teaches at Spirit Rock Meditation Center where he is part of its Teachers Council. Gil was ordained as a Soto Zen priest at the San Francisco Zen Center in 1982, and in 1995 received Dharma Transmission from Mel Weitsman, the abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center. He currently serves on the SF Zen Center Elders’ Council. In 2011 he founded IMC’s Insight Retreat Center. Gil has an undergraduate degree in agriculture from U.C. Davis where he was active in promoting the field of sustainable farming. In 1998 he received a PhD in Religious Studies from Stanford University studying the earliest developments of the bodhisattva ideal. He is the author of The Issue at Hand, essays on mindfulness practice; A Monastery Within; a book on the five hindrances called Unhindered; and the translator of The Dhammapada, published by Shambhala Publications. You may listen to Gil’s talks on Audio Dharma.

More Be Here Now Network Podcasts:
Lama Rod Owens covers the dharma of freedom, loving ourselves, ancestral work, and the power of meditation: Dedication to Liberation
JoAnna Hardy shares a guided meditation all around the first foundation of mindfulness – mindfulness of the body:  First Foundation Guided Meditation
Through bearing witness, love & service, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee shares how we can collectively heal the crisis of disconnection & ecological devastation: Love & Service
Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh explores how we can joyfully bring mindfulness into everyday activities like phone calls, driving, and walking: The Ojai Foundation Presents: Under the Teaching Tree with Thich Nhat Hanh