As a place of spiritual refuge and sanctuary, Dharma Refuge is open to everyone, without exception.
"Hatred never ceases by hatred but by love alone is healed.
If you identify as part of a community that has been marginalized or discriminated against, knowingly or unknowingly, we hold our hearts and our doors open to you, always. We aspire to offer to all who are seeking the liberating teachings of the Buddha the safety and support of spiritual friendship and unconditional respect.
"As a mother would risk her life to protect her child, her only child, even so should one cultivate a limitless heart with regard to all beings. So with a boundless heart should one cherish all living beings; radiating kindness over the entire world."
At Dharma Refuge we rely on the path of transformation and love, built upon the principle of inclusion and the wakeful state of equanimity. We practice cultivating the heart and mind that rejects no thing and no one. This wise mind abides in a deep personal recognition that we belong to one another as part of a ceaseless web of relationship. What affects one of us directly affects us all in some way. Our states of mind, our intentions, and our actions ripple out into a sea of mutuality where everything is under our influence and nothing is under our control.
“What is the state of my mind?” is our sangha’s continual inquiry. Mindful awareness allows us to discern directly the states of mind from which we “create our world.” Through our practice we experience the destructive states of anger, aggression, and greed as a deep confusion and misunderstanding of our nature. We see that when we project these states outside of ourselves we add to a cycle of sorrow and struggle for ourselves, those we love, and ultimately for all beings and this planet we call home.
“Know that aggression and malice are Mirror-like Awareness itself,
We value diverse thinking and participation because it reminds us to adopt the beginner’s wakeful mind. As Bodhisattvas in training, we know that the treasure of peace and freedom we seek is alive and available when our hearts and minds reside in a continuum of curiosity, seeking not to arrive at conclusions of good, bad, right, wrong, for, or against. Through our practice we come to see that, as individuals and as communities, we feed the cycle of suffering when we pick, choose, and hold firmly to sides, positions, and certainty.
We commit ourselves again and again to the practice of turning inward and holding ourselves and our experience with courage and kindness. As we nourish ourselves into relaxing our walls of self-protection, we fortify our ability to turn toward one another with vulnerability, kindness, and care.
At Dharma Refuge we welcome all with great humility, and we aspire to make the Buddha’s wisdom tradition accessible to all those who may benefit. We honor the sacredness and wisdom of all faith traditions, and of this most ordinary life. We aspire to hold firmly the mind of Bodhichitta, a heart that is open to every single being, without exception.
With palms together, the Dharma Refuge sangha welcomes you.
May bodhicitta, precious and sublime,
Arise where it has not yet come to be;
And where it has arisen may it never wane,
But grow and flourish ever more and more.
“As long as a society holds regular and frequent assemblies, meeting in harmony and mutual respect, can they be expected to prosper and not decline. As long as a society follows the long held traditions of wisdom, and honors its elders, can they be expected to prosper and not decline. As long as a society protects the vulnerable among them, can they be expected to prosper and not decline. As long as a society cares for the shrines and sacred places of the natural world, can they be expected to prosper and not decline.”
Buddhist teacher and spiritual director at Dharma Refuge.
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Dharma Refuge meets at Covenant United Methodist Church
– second floor (elevator accessible)
1124 Culver Rd, Rochester, NY 14609
Copyright 2019 Dharma Refuge; Dharma Refuge is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation.
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