The purpose of this meditation is to develop a very strong feeling of going for refuge to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha as the solution to all our problems, and then to contemplate this feeling in the light of the fact that all living beings are our mother.

I began the meditation by doing a breathing meditation, and for once my mind found its balance quite quickly and I enjoyed quite a long period of having a very calm and peaceful mind – settled and still.

I continued through to the main meditation after a while.

I began by thinking about the two causes of going for sincere refuge – fear and faith.

In terms of fear, thought about how, when I die, I will pass through a process where everything will change. My basis for the imputation of my ‘I’ will change completely. All my ‘external’ circumstances will change, and I will probably lose my path. I thought about this ‘resetting’ of my life and I felt a very sincere wish to do as much as I can now, before my death comes. When my death comes, I will lose this precious human life and this precious opportunity.

Then I thought about my faith. It may sound odd, but I do not think of myself as a religious person. I don’t think of my faith as being a religious faith. My faith is a rational faith. I am a Buddhist because I think that the ideas that are presented in Buddhism are true. Therefore, for me, to be a Buddhist simply means to be someone who follows what is true. In all the time that I have studied and practised my path, I have not come across one single instruction which would cause myself or others harm. In all the books, in all the teachings I have attended, in all the conversations I have had with teachers, I have only encountered instructions which would cause happiness and release from suffering for myself or others if they were put into practice.

I have practised for more than 10 years, and I have never encountered harmful instruction. That’s pretty special. Special enough for me to know that I will devote my whole life to this path.  What is this path, who revealed it and who can help me follow it? It is surely the Dharma, Buddha and the holy Sangha.

On the basis of my fear of losing my path and on my total faith in the Three Jewels, I felt a deep yearning to move to the Three Jewels for my protection and my salvation. I felt like I was moving towards the Three Jewels and becoming mixed with them. It struck me that the Three Jewels are not external objects, but (because of our shared emptiness) we are one and the same.

I remembered a phrase I heard recently ‘Be the change you want to see’. I want to be the Three Jewels – I want to see the change in myself and others that the Three Jewels can produce. I felt like I was turning to the Three Jewels, and mixing completely with them at the same time. It felt lovely and wonderful. I remained with this feeling for a while.

When the time came, I moved on to think about what this means in the light of the fact that all living beings are my mother.

Why am I going for refuge? It is so that I can become an Enlightened Being for the benefit of all my kind mothers. I and all my kind mothers will turn to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha for our release from suffering and for our attainment of pure lasting happiness. It is the path for everyone – we will all be equal in the end, no matter what our different characteristics at the moment. It was a wonderful thought, and with this I returned to my feeling of being mixed with the Three Jewels for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings turn to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha for their refuge from suffering, and be released from Samsara’s prison for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will keep in mind my wish to turn to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and try to be the change I want to see.