Becoming a Buddhist

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2017 Summer Retreat It Sarana / Going for Refuge Ceremony

Many people who begin to travel the Buddhist path will at some point decide to confirm their commitment to the Buddhist way. The Buddha called the decision to follow his teachings “Going for Refuge.” We all go for refuge, but often we seek comfort in things that will ultimately prove unsatisfactory. Going for Refuge in the Buddhist sense means we have committed to relinquishing those attachments that are causing us more difficulty in favor of a higher refuge.

Most Buddhist traditions have some ceremony or service that formalizes this act of going for refuge, and a Sensei credentialed by the Bright Dawn Center for Oneness Buddhism can perform this service.

The purpose of the Salt Lake Buddhist Ti Sarana ceremony is to function as a personal expression of an individual’s wish to confirm and deepen his or her commitment to the Buddhist path.  Our confirmation ceremony does not necessarily imply that one becomes a follower of a particular approach or tradition.  Our confirmation is less an institutional standard and more a tool for individual spirituality.

We conceive of our Ti Sarana ceremony as a broad gate for anyone who wishes to confirm his or her religious identity.  It should be mentioned that a confirmation ceremony is not necessary for a person to be considered a Buddhist.  Institutional validation is not mandatory.  Being confirmed is not required to receive Buddhist services such as weddings or funerals.

People who are Buddhist because they were born into a Buddhist family rarely feel a need for a ceremony to confirm their identity as Buddhists.  Perhaps because of the concept of baptism, persons coming to Buddhism from other traditions often feel the need for a confirmation ceremony.  A confirmation ceremony is to be encouraged for all Buddhists, regardless of their backgrounds.  Such a ceremony is an invaluable way to deepen one’s spirituality.

To be able to participate in our Ti Sarana ceremony, we ask that you attend our fellowship on a semi-regular basis since you will be taking Refuge with us. You are also asked to attend a Ti Sarana Introduction course (offered a month before the scheduled ceremony) – The course will give you a brief overview of what going for refuge means, what the five precepts are and the Bodhisattva Vows.  This will also give you a chance to ask questions and better prepare for the ceremony.  You will also be asked to write a short spiritual biography. It doesn’t need to be long, but give us a little information about your spiritual journey—your religious background, what brought you to Buddhism, and what books and people have influenced you. This will need to be completed no later than two weeks before the service along with any gratitude offering you wish to forward to our Sensei and Bright Dawn.

Our Ti Sarana or Going for Refuge Ceremony takes place twice a year.  Our next scheduled ceremony is in August during our Summer Retreat- August 26th, 2018. If you are looking to take refuge before then, exceptions can be made on a case by case basis. For considerations, please contact Kakuyo Sensei at sensei@saltlakebuddhist.org

 

Ti Sarana Sandy
Sandy Munoz Ti Sarana Ceremony Summer 2017