3 jewels — 3 kayas — Body, speech, and mind of the Buddha

August 4, 2009 at 1:57 pm 1 comment

The ten virtuous actions of body, speech, and mind arise naturally when one refrains from the ten types of negative deeds. Hence we can see that embracing virtuous discipline is also another basis for the taking of refuge. In this approach, whatever actions you do, they are all offerings and service to the Buddhas.

Now that we have discussed some of the trainings that are the basis for taking refuge, what are the objects in whom we take refuge? They are the three jewels. The first jewel is the Buddha, who possesses the three kayas, or the enlightened body, speech, and mind.

The Buddha is said to possess three kayas or ‘bodies’ of enlightenment. The Buddha’s Dharmakaya is like the vastness of the sky or space. The Buddha’s Sambhogakaya manifests without Buddha ever straying from Dharmakaya-it is like the moon in the sky. The Buddha’s appearance as the Nirmanakaya of flesh and blood is like the moon reflected in a pool of water.

The second jewel is the Dharma. This is the tripitaka, the three baskets of scriptures. We take refuge in the Dharma because the realization that arises in the minds of practitioners is based on the understanding of the scriptures. The third jewel is the Sangha, the enlightened community, the Arhats, Bodhisattvas, and Deities.

One who has taken refuge is surely and steadily following the path that leads to enlightenment. We take refuge for all sentient beings. This brings our refuge to the level of the Mahayana or great vehicle, which wishes to save every living being.”


All meditation practices must be structured according to the three excellences: that which is virtuous in the beginning, that which is virtuous in the middle, and that which is virtuous in the end.

In meditation, the most important thing is meditation on emptiness. All the attainments of the Buddhas are the result of meditation on emptiness. We ourselves have not become Buddhas because we have not effectively meditated on emptiness.

What is virtuous in the beginning is refuge. What is virtuous in the middle is the main part of the practice. What is virtuous in the end is the dedication of merit. Hence we can see that the taking of refuge is the basis of all further practice.

Chogye Trichen Rinpoche


Entry filed under: Buddhism, Uncategorized, Yoga. Tags: , .

Emptiness (Space) and Form: Unity of Space and Vividness (Clarity) HH Kunzang Dechen Lingpa: Compassionate Yogi

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. prayerdance  |  November 18, 2009 at 11:44 am

    In the inner sense this is the same as taking refuge in our real/true nature, the essence of the body, speech, and mind.

    The body is how we define self in terms of other. When dualistic confusions which separate an imagined “independent self” from that of a limited “other” then unbounded wholeness of our true nature is realized.The overall context is pure stillness

    By taking refuge in the inner speech (Sambhogakaya), we take refuge in the dharma or how this vast unbounded wholeness is expressed in sound, in energy, in vibration, or any other aligned creative natural expression. Here the pre-existing overall context is always an ongoing great silence, and its expression.

    By taking refuge in our mind, we take refuge in the transpersonal non-dual mental continuum of pure awareness which permeates all beings. This is the true sangha.

    Body, dharmakaya, buddha

    Speech, sambhogakaya, dharma

    Mind, nirmanakaya, sangha

    All as one integrated whole, the svabhavakaya with the overall context of pure stillness, silence, and awareness are integrated and emanate…


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