Buddhism · Spiritual Glossary

Spiritual Glossary: Three Jewels

The Three Jewels, or Treasures, of Buddhism (also known as the Three Refuges) are where you take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. In other words, you take the Three Refuges as a support and guide as you seek liberation from suffering.

The refuges are not blind faith. This is not about worship or surrendering your will to a higher power. The Buddha encourages you to question and doubt, and not to accept anything you haven’t personally verified through your own practice.

Taking refuge in the Buddha means recognising the Buddha Nature of all things, including yourself. Taking refuge in the Dharma means recognising the wisdom and truth inherent in the teachings of the Buddha, and in following the practices outlined in those teachings. Taking refuge in the Sangha means recognising the importance of the spiritual community and joining with others on the path of enlightenment.

The Three Jewels:

I take refuge in the Buddha, the one who shows me the way in this life

I take refuge in the Dharma, the way of understanding and love

I take refuge in the Sangha, the community that lives in harmony and awareness

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