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Brian Crain
Brian Crain
1 min read

One of the Buddhist concepts that I find most interesting is the concept of refuge. In the book Turning Confusion into Clarity, Mingyur Rinpoche describes refuge as a "safe haven". Something that provides a sense of security and protection.

Understood in this way, everyone has their own refuges. And they can vary tremendously across different situations and people. Someone might find refuge in being punctual and sticking to a calendar. Another person might find it in alcohol. Or running. Or eating chocolate. Watching movies. Money. Status. Relationships.

What all of the above examples have in common is that they depend on external factors. An emergency can derail your schedule. You run out of alcohol or chocolate. You go bankrupt. Your reputation becomes tarnished. Your relationship ends. In that way, all these refuges are unreliable. There will be times, when they will provide no sense of security or protection.

A better approach is to find refuge within yourself. You can practice to transform your own experience. And this practice can almost always be available to you. You become less reliant on external circumstances and gain access to a deeper and more lasting place of security and protection.