the 3 Jewels of Buddhism
The 3 Jewels of Buddhism
Buddha, Dharma, Sangha
the teacher, the teachings, the community
“You alone are the author of your future—experience teaches you that. Your behavior is not an unchangeable law of nature. At every moment, you have the opportunity to change—to alter your thoughts, your speech, your actions. If you train yourself to be mindful of what you do, and ask yourself whether it’s likely to lead to positive results or negative, you’ll be guiding yourself in the right direction.” ~ Bhante Gunaratana
With just a few days left of our challenge, our thoughts may be turning to the big “what next?” question. How will I keep this daily practice of Yoga alive within me?!
Buddhism offers us a framework for integrating, known as the 3 Jewels, or 3 refuges:
Each one of us has the potential to wake up from the dream of separation. The word, “Buddha” translates to “awakened one”, and the invitation of this jewel is to remember that awakening is our essential nature.
Waking up from the stories we tell ourselves about who we are and
from the fears that limit us.
We each have the potential to be free from suffering in this moment, here and now,
even though it can be hard, and situations will challenge us.
Anyone, from Mother Thesesa to Hitler, …..anyone can wake up.
And it’s not a simple meritocracy.
Being in full alignment; thoughts, words and actions, is ideal for setting up all the conditions in which waking up occurs., but so much more is involved. Just because you do good in the world, doesn’t mean you will wake up or realise yourself.
Yoga reminds us to close our eyes. Look inside. Everyday. For as long as you can.
This will help connect you to your Buddha-nature.
Dharma is the path, or the teachings of Buddhism.
The sacred and ancient practice of Yoga, offers us many tools, many scriptures, many masters, many philosophies to help keep us on the path of going deeper within.
Ancient scriptures and modern books share with us the essential teachings of the wisdom traditions: be here now, be love, forgive, allow, surrender, let go, this too shall pass, freedom is taking full responsibility for yourself in this moment, and so on…
Yoga offers us the 8 limbs to freedom – the Ashtanga Yoga system , which includes the yamas and niyamas, asana, prananyam, pratyahara, dhyana, dharana and Samadhi. We can model our lifestyles on these points.
We can read and immerse ourselves in dharma books or books by contemporary teachers like Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, the Dalai Lama….
We can spend time with living Masters and teachers.
You will find a lot of repetition on this path. Repetition is said to be the mother of all teachers. Even after a decade of devoted yoga practice, I am still amazed how the simple reminder from a yoga teacher to breathe in any given moment, can take me so deep.
Sadhana, the practice, is always there for you to take you home to your true nature. If you miss a day, a week, a month – no worries! Your practice is always available and ready for you when your are.
The Sangha is the community of truth seekers. That means all of you.
People need people. We are social creatures and social learners.
People of all ages and backgrounds are coming to Yoga these days, all wanting more happiness, more freedom and joy.
To really help us rocket forth on our journeys, it helps to surround ourselves with people who are also working on themselves to awaken.
At the end of the day, we actually all have a lot more in common that not – The first noble truth of Buddhism – all beings suffer.
We are united in our suffering and we are united in our desire to be happy and free.
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