In what do we take refuge when we take refuge in the Buddha? Like us, the Buddha was a human being, and our refuge in these qualities of Awakened Mind/Heart respects deeply our own potential—luminous, spotless, wise.
We develop the faculty of faith by paying homage to and taking refuge in Buddhamind/heart. The qualities of Buddha are chanted daily in Buddhist monasteries: the elimination of greed, aversion and ignorance; wisdom; endowment with knowledge, living in concord with that knowledge; adept in the art of choosing the right words to benefit the listener; beautiful and excellent; the seer of the world as it really is; incomparable tamer of the tameable conditioned mind/heart; exalted, fulfilling the ten perfections.
Reflecting and contemplating, we are “the one who knows truth” or “that which knows” and acts in accordance with the knowing. Wisdom is already here, no need to try to “get it.” We know the world as it is, as it arises in consciousness—the fears, the desires, views and opinions, the perceptions that come and go in the mind.
In taking refuge in the Buddha, we allow that-which-is-wise to lead us. We turn to our Buddha-wisdom, and it trains us to live in a skillful way, in these bodies and society in wisdom, goodness and kindness. We learn to be of benefit, rather than harm, to the world. Buddha is the teacher. We are the teacher. The Buddha, as refuge, trains all virtuous creatures to see things as they are, to embody truth.
Take refuge in the awakened mind/heart.