17th Gyalwa Karmapa"Buddhism is a way of life through which we develop the qualities of our mind.
This way of life is very unusual, as it is a means to attain happiness without harming others.

THE 17th GYALWA KARMAPA

 Karmapa Grenoble, France 2017 

The reason why I describe this is because our topic is about the refuge, in Tibetan known as kyap dro. Most of us are familiar with it, and even though we are familiar with it, we do need a little bit of a reminder of exactly why we are practicing the refuge.

The object of refuge is obviously none other than the Buddha, or the Enlightened state. I suppose most of us relate to it as someone or something, or a name or a person. But the reality is that, I think, the Buddha is just a name, a title to describe the quality of a state of consciousness, or a state of wisdom, or commonly known to us as a state of mind.

There is an aspect of ourselves that can recognise everything as it is. We describe that as mind, consciousness, or a respectful term for it is wisdom.

And having said all that, it may lead us to think that it is a completely independent phenomenon, and that there is something to grasp, that there is something tangible in a way, something permanent about it. Buddha teaches that, actually, one way of saying is that it’s not that, but another way of saying is that it’s more than that, in a way—it is beyond that.

And “enlightened state of Buddhahood” is a way of describing that when that clarity is complete, when it has reached its full maturity, we label that as “Buddhahood” or “state of enlightenment.”

And the object of refuge is that.

 

photo : Coline Palmo Photographie

 

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