Mar 28

Kalu Rinpoche | The only purpose of the refuge

Q: Is it quite normal, that taking refuge or creating an attitude of Bodhicitta feels kind of fabricated and artificial in the beginning?

A: Absolutely! You know, it is absolutely fabricated, it is absolutely artificial, but it is a genuine artificial and you need that! You know? Because if you say that “I want to be pure, I don’t want any artificial” and then you cannot. You know? Because we are not at that stage yet. So we need to “fabricate”, we need to “make something out of it”, with what we have, and then we have to develop a genuine qualities over time, and then ultimately the refuge and your guru and your mind becomes one. You know?

In the beginning we need to put in hard work. You cannot say “oh yeh, I’m this and I’m that, and I don’t want to do it” or “I had a good dream and then I have a very auspicious sign and I don’t think I need a refuge, I don’t think I need a deity practice, I don’t need an empowerment” we cannot do that. Why? Because that is heavily influenced by our ego, you know?

So the meaning of the refuge, meaning of the refuge, the true meaning of the refuge is to minimise our ego, that’s the only purpose of the refuge. Like an example, in other religions when we take a refuge, we expect them to solve our problem. But in a Buddhist way, when we take a refuge, we expect to solve the problem by ourself, and then we see, and we are reflecting the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, you know, as a superior, realised being, so that we can minimise our egoistic attitude that “I am important”, “I am superior”, “I am supreme” and all these things, you know? So that’s the purpose.

And then by visualising a deity, the purpose of visualising a deity, dissolves the fixation of the artificial clinging to our reality, and then the completion practice, or the dzogrim we call it, creates a subtle foundation and a possibility to recognise the nature of the mind, you know? So that’s that.


Kalu Rinpoche
FB Livestream – 25 July 2021 (1h 21’ 42”)