The refuge tree is a central symbol of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha within our tradition and within Vajrayana Buddhism. It represents the Three Jewels via an array of figures and texts, including teachers of past and present, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Arhants.
According to a talk given by Sangharakshita in 1971, the refuge tree vividly and concretely represents the refuge ‘in its historical background, in its universal perspective and its immediate practical application.’ It is, therefore, one of the richest and most complex symbols in Buddhism – one ‘that would repay the study of a lifetime’.
As well as studying it on this retreat, we will be visualising it as part of the Going for Refuge and Prostration Practice that is taught to men training for ordination.
The retreat starts with dinner on the first day at 6:30pm and finishes on the final day at 10.00am.