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The Cosmic Refuge Tree

a series of talks by Padmasagara

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’. In a series of talks given on the Cosmic Refuge Tree retreat at Padmaloka in February 2019 for men training for ordination Padmasagara explores the historical and archetypal aspects of the refuge tree and how we can connect with the vision it represents.

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