In this shared Dharma talk, Ethan Nichtern and Sharon Salzberg share insight and practices for taking refuge in the Three Jewels of Buddhism: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
Sharon Salzberg is the host of the Be Here Now Network’s Metta Hour Podcast. Her newest book, Real Change: Mindfulness to Heal Ourselves and the World is now available for pre-order. Learn more about Sharon at sharonsalzberg.com.
Finding and Taking Refuge
Sharon shares her thoughts on finding and taking refuge in the Three Jewels of Buddhism. She talks about how we look to the Buddha as the model for our potential, the Dharma as the teachings that sustain us on the path, and the Sangha as a system of support and inspiration. Sharon also explores the idea of liberation through the act of facing suffering, rather than avoiding it.
“The point is not to suffer, the point is to develop wisdom and compassion. Including in times of great distress, and including times of great joy and delight. The idea of taking refuge fits in there. That we’re not going it alone, floundering around.” – Sharon Salzberg
Don’t miss Sharon Salzberg’s latest episode of the Real Change Series with special guest Sebene Selassie on Metta Hour Ep. 129
Awareness Meditation (25:40)
Sharon leads a guided meditation she considers a fundamental exercise every person seeking inner refuge. This meditation is centered on choosing an object of awareness, such as the breath or a mantra, and resting the attention on it for the duration of the exercise.
“We let go and we begin again, maybe a billion times. It’s alright because we also take refuge in that.” – Sharon Salzberg
Inner and Outer Jewels (36:00)
Ethan breaks down how the Three Jewels can take place on three different levels: a universal level, a personal practice level, and on the level of a lifelong commitment, the refuge vow. He talks about how there are inner and outer qualities for each of the Three Jewels, and what each one represents.
“The Three Jewels are broken up into outer and inner. And outer always has this quality of the literal meaning of the teaching, and inner is more the energetic meaning of the teaching.” – Ethan Nichtern