Refuge in the Sangha

The third refuge which may be more valuable to some depending upon your inclination. Thank you, Lynn, for explaining the difference between the refuges and the need they each fulfill. _/\_

The Buddha's Advice to Laypeople

And finally we come to the sangha as refuge. The word sangha has more than one meaning, but at its root, it means the community of practitioners, whether ordained or lay, male or female. Originally it referred only to the ordained monks and nuns, but the Buddha made clear that those who had taken refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha, whether lay or ordained, were necessary for his teachings to thrive in the world. He called them the four-fold sangha, meaning all of those who had undertaken his path of practice. The community of practitioners is varied and widespread, but it is a community of people who support and take inspiration from each other.

In modern times, the word sangha has been appropriated to mean any group of spiritual seekers, but for the purpose of talking about taking refuge, we refer to those whose lives are oriented towards the…

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