Inner and Outer Refuge

Everybody takes Refuge. Sometimes in things like good food, rest and exercising. Sometimes not so good things like alcohol and drugs and pornography. All of these have their ups and downs and when we place our trust in them our life in mind go up and down two. Emotions can be refuges also. Responding with anger and self-righteousness and looking for someone to blame can become a bad habit, armor, and a place to hide. It's good to know what refuges you already have because this can inspire you to others that are truly beneficial.

 You can learn to deal with difficulties in new ways and protect us from confusion and despair. We can use these difficulties to turn obstacles into opportunities. With outer relative Refuge we see the teachers teachings and the community is outside ourselves. This is better than conventional refuges but with limited benefits. Eventually we come to see these in our own hearts and Minds. With inner absolute Refuge The Duality evaporates. Can we come to rely on our own inner teachers, teachings, and communities. 

Even the simple desire for happiness is an expression of Buddha nature. Something deep inside is reaching for the light from the dark from the depths. We know our true self is worthy of happiness. Our internal compass is always pointing to true north no matter how far off course we go. It's like a the nature of water isn't changed even when rock hard as ice or as an invisible vapor. Floating, flowing, or frozen it still water. This is good news for us because we may seem trapped in greed, anger, and ignorance but generosity, kindness, and discernment are always there, always our true nature.

If the teacher can rest his mind in God, Christ Consciousness, and Buddha nature and teaches from that place it will be expressed, communicated, and transmitted to the student. His body language, words, tone of voice, and attitude embody The View. Our outer teacher puts us in touch with our inner teacher and the natural wisdom of our true self that we take refuge in. This is the source of our love, peace. joy, and beauty as well as wisdom, equanimity, and compassion. The outer teachers is the key. When we open the door we find ourselves. Our true teacher is our true self. Master Teachers like Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and the Dalai Lama put us in touch with that aspect of ourselves. Similarly the archetypical lover, wizard, king, warrior, jester, monk, and others help us embody those aspects of our selves.

 We embody The Compassion of Mother Teresa, wisdom and calm of The Dalai Lama, and the peacemaking and non-violence of Gandhi, and the strength and steadfastness of Churchill. As we see this in others we illuminate it within ourselves. Outer teacher becomes the inner. We take on the clothes, the garb of our masters and adjust them to fit ourselves. The armor and weapons of truth, justice, freedom, and love. Likewise mighty trees, rivers, oceans, and mountains reflect qualities we find within ourselves. We seek refuge in any skilful means. In a teacher, the teachings, and in the community I will receive many other benefits such as loving kindness, compassion, and  meditation.

The goal is to recognize her own potential and awareness and nurture it. Imagination can take you anywhere. We make connections with reliable sources of protection, courage, and strength. We discover the missing pieces in our sick, sad, and dysfunctional pursuit of happiness as find them within. We at last see beneficial, positive, wise refugees in the distance and gain ground on them. We become familiar with them, embrace them, take them on, and take them in so they shine from within.