Refuge Vow

with Acharya Richard John

October 15th (2017)

Date details +
  • ($25.00 Material Fee included in each price.)
Room: West Loop Shambhala Center, 37 N. Carpenter St.

Shambhala Chicago will offer Refuge Vows with Acharya Richard John.

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche often referred to taking the Refuge Vow as becoming a refugee; in other words, easing our attachment to the various ways we continuously protect ourselves from life by taking comfort in habitual patterns. To take refuge is to commit ourselves to the Buddhist path of awakening. We take refuge in the Buddha as an example, the dharma as truth, and the sangha as a community of fellow practitioners. It is the initial vow of the Buddhist tradition and marks one's formal entry onto the Buddhist path.

The Refuge Vow is open to anyone who has the sincere aspiration to take the vow and has practiced meditation for a while. It is recommended that individuals discuss their intention with a meditation instructor and complete the Refuge Vow Class to be held Saturday and Sunday, September 16-17 in preparation for the vow.  Individuals who cannot take the class should discuss alternate means of preparation with a meditation instructor. The class is open to all, whether or not they are contemplating taking the vow.

A short (15 minute) interview with Acharya Richard John is required prior to the vow ceremony. Interviews will be scheduled by the coordinator.

A community-wide celebration will be held after the ceremonies. Refuge Vow takers are encouraged to bring one or two guests.


An early student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Acharya Richard John was appointed an acharya by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. For many years he has taught Shambhala Buddhist programs in the Americas, New Zealand and Australia. After careers as a designer and a management consultant, he served as director of the Halifax Shambhala Centre. He completed the first three-year group retreat at Gampo Abbey, and he now teaches full time. Richard and his wife Liz reside in Halifax, Nova Scotia.