Practically, if you really want to go home with some kind of an instruction on how to do refuge, if you are not a tantric practitioner, thinking that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are in front of you, and that is good enough. That’s, I mean, you may say it’s a make believe but didn’t I tell you, even four plus four is a make believe. So just thinking, even so I am not seeing it because of my own delusion, thinking and having confidence that they are there, and with this fear to the samsaric games and cause of samsara, take refuge to protect us from all kinds of temporary illness, temporary obstacles, temporary, I don’t know, sickness, disease, war, famine, disputes, disagreements. And then more importantly to protect us, you know refuge is something to do with the protecting, you remember, to protect ourselves from our own inner enemy which is clinging to the self, self cherishing. And then if you are tantric practitioner, thinking all the Buddhas, embodiment of all the Buddhas, the guru, in front of you. Your guru in the form of a deity or whatever, you know. And on top of what I just told you, reasons of taking refuge such as fear of outer obstacles, inner obstacles, secret obstacles is this constant impure perception or constant judgment, dualistic mind. To protect ourselves from this dualistic mind then we take refuge to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, or in the Tantrayana, name of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha is kind of transformed into guru, deva and dakini, and specially, if you are practitioner of more profound level of Tantrayana such as Mahasandhi or Mahamudra, then taking refuge to dharmakaya, sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya or prana, bindu and nadi or essence, nature and display, we take refuge. And towards the end of the refuge, refuge object and you become inseparable. That’s the point. That is actually very very important. It is not as if the refuge object stays there as a celestial divine being and you go around as a mundane, ignorant being. That’s very important. They merge together. That is the technique. And then there are many many different liturgies to recite the refuge. You can do Namo Buddha, Namo Dharma, Namo Sangha or Buddham saranam gacchami, so on and so forth. ????? or in English which ever, I take refuge to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. And then if you want to elaborate this, specially for those who are doing the Ngondro practice, then there will have a specific liturgy.
Outer, Inner and Secret Refuge, London 2010