I wish to express my gratitude to the founder and director, Brother ChiSing, and the wonderful DMC staff, faculty, and participants, for giving me this opportunity to serve my Teachers, the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
In a simple, but deeply meaningful ceremony, the candidates for Refuge prayed:
The Blessed One is the One Gone to Bliss, the Fully Awakened, Accomplished in True Knowledge and Conduct, the Fortunate, Knower of the World, Unsurpassed Leader of Beings to Be Tamed, Teacher of Gods and Humans, the Perfectly Enlightened One, the Buddha.
The Buddha is non-dual Wisdom. The Buddha is the Body of Truth. The Buddha is the Lama. The Buddha is our own Pure Mind.
The Dharma is well expounded by the Blessed One, directly visible, immediate, eternal, and not subject to time, inviting us to come and see, relevant, to be personally experienced by the wise.
The Dharma is Inseparable Qualities. The Dharma is the Body of Glory. The Dharma is the Deity. The Dharma is our own Pure Speech.
The Sangha of the Blessed One’s disciples is practicing the good way, practicing the straight way, practicing the true way, practicing the proper way. This Sangha of the Blessed One’s disciples is worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of reverential salutation, the unsurpassed field of merit for the world.
The Sangha is Inconceivable Activity. The Sangha is the Body of Compassion. The Sangha is the Protector. The Sangha is our own Pure Body.
The Officiant then asked: Who comes for Refuge?
The candidates, hands in centering mudra, replied: I go for Refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
The Officiant asked: Do you come for Refuge of your own free will?
Candidates: I understand what it is that I do. I am glad. I come of my own free will. I promise to observe the vows of Refuge.
I vow to honor the Buddha as my Primary Teacher, and respect all representations of the Buddhas and Holy Ones. I vow to follow the Dharma as my Primary Path, and respect all Dharma texts and teachings; I vow to seek the association of fellow Dharma practitioners, and avoid intimate connection with those who are hostile to the Dharma.
I take Refuge in the Teacher. I take Refuge in the Buddha. I take Refuge in the Dharma. I take Refuge in the Sangha. (x3)
The candidates bowed or touched the ground after each repetition. They then dedicated the merit in this manner:
I dedicate the merits of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, of Solitary Realizers and Hearers, of all holy and ordinary beings, as I dedicate my own —past, present and future, previously dedicated and yet to dedicate— that I may arise spontaneously in the pure land of bliss.
In that pure land, I shall manifest from a golden lotus in the holy presence, receive the prophecy from the lips of the Protector, swiftly attain perfect enlightenment, and return to lead all those who suffer to Great Benefit.
May all who come in contact with my body spontaneously arise in the pure land of bliss! May all who come in contact with my speech spontaneously arise in the pure land of bliss! May all who come in contact with my mind spontaneously arise in the pure land of bliss!
By the blessings of the Lord of Compassion and the Lord of Powerful Means, may all sentient beings everywhere hear the holy Name of infinite life, light, and love. May they take refuge in the Lord of Boundless Radiance and arise in the pure land of bliss!
om amideva hrih