Taking Refuge and Prostrating as a Daily Practice
In Tibetan Buddhism, we often take refuge while prostrating in front of the enlightened ones. We recite:
We (I and other sentient beings) take refuge in the precious Teachers.
We take refuge in the perfected Buddhas.
We take refuge in the holy Dharma.
We take refuge in the noble Sangha.
We take refuge in the meditation deities (Yidam) and their retinue.
We take refuge in the Dharma protectors (Dharmapalas).
We take refuge in the Dakinis.
We can do this many times a day – 7 times in the morning and 7 times in the evening. For serious practitioners this will lead to the ngondro practice which requires the recitation of taking refuge short prayer 100,000 times and prostrating 100,000 times. Many people asked me why this number was necessary and whether we could do more. The answer is when we recite the prayer or prostrate for 100,000 times, there will be a great imprint on our mind which will increase our devotion in Buddhism. But this number is not the end. Taking refuge and prostrating must be our life-time practice. Those who can’t actually perform the prostrations, they can recite the prayer while visualizing that they are indeed doing the prostrations with other sentient beings.