Its an exciting feeling and also a very natural one – something I’ve built up to fairly gently over the last four years of my involvement with Buddhism and my gradual realisation that I am definitely Buddhist (and not merely Buddhish as Ive been claiming until recently 😉 )
In Buddhist terminology what this involes is going for refuge to the three jewels (the jewels being Buddha, Dharma and Sangha).
What this means is that I recognise the Buddha as a symbol of the ideal of human enlightenment, the Dharma (the body of teaching) as being the route towards that goal and the Sangha (the community of other Buddhists) as being the context in which I want to practice.
In a way, I cant put my hand on my heart and say Im really trying to become enlightened because if I was too make 100% effort to acheive that lofty goal, then I’d probably be meditating all day, not just for one hour in the morning. However, I do believe that any steps I can take in that direction will be of benefit to me and, since I believe we are all fundamentally connected, also to the benefit of all sentient beings.
The Triratna Order is a lay order, so I’m not going off to be a monk or anything, in fact little will change at first other than a strengthening of my resolve to work on myself to become a better and more compassionate person – as those who know me well can confirm, there’s plenty of room for improvement!
Anyway, I’ll share significant moments along the path here as I can, meanwhile, wish me luck!