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Buddhadharma : Fall 2009
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly fall 2 0 09 62 The three treasures are the path to the awakened mind, and they are that awakening itself. They point to the ultimate nature that is realized through prac- tice, as well as to how that nature manifests in our practice and actualization, how we embody our understanding of the real nature of things. The Buddha, dharma, and sangha are the real activity of compassion that has been passed down through many generations. They point to how real people seek real truth in a particular time and place. At the same time, the three treasures are timeless: they are free of changing times and conditions; they reach everywhere. To take refuge in the three trea- sures, says Master Dogen in his classic Shobo- genzo, is to unreservedly rely on them. The only way we can do this is to have profound trust and faith in the Buddha, dharma, and sangha. To depend on them to that degree, they have to be worthy of our trust. This Geoffrey ShuGen Arnold, SenSei is vice-abbot of the Zen Center of new york City and manages the national Buddhist Prison Sangha. in 1997 he completed his formal training in the Mountains and rivers order and received dharma transmission from John daido loori roshi. Trusting the Three Treasures Taking refuge in the Buddha, dharma, and sangha, says Geoffrey Shugen arnold, involves taking a leap forward with a deep sense of trust in our own basic nature and the natural wisdom of all phenomena.