Some Thoughts on Taking Refuge in the Three Treasures

This article is an edited transcription of a talk given by Rev. Leon at the Columbia Zen Buddhist Priory in Columbia, South Carolina. It is taken from a series of talks connecting basic Buddhist ideas to our practice of Sōtō Zen and refers to a book called Basic Buddhist Concepts by Kogen Mizuno.

The first idea that Mizuno takes up is “Buddhism As Religion” and what that means as it relates to what we call the Three Treasures. The first of the Three Treasures is the Buddha, who is the historical Shakyamuni Buddha, the founder of the religion. That’s the external meaning of the Buddha, who we take refuge in. We go to the Buddha for his advice, he’s someone who we view as being wise and who understands the nature of life. In the sense that we go to him for advice in how to lead our lives, we’re taking refuge in him. There’s another meaning of the Buddha refuge, which is our inmost nature, our real nature, the Buddha Nature…

PDF to download: Rev. Leon Three Treasures Winter 2012