Entering the Stream: Refuge and Bodhisattva Vows

with Acharya Eric Spiegel

March 16th—March 18th

Date details +
  • $170 Program Price
  • $195 Patron Price
  • ($20.00 Material Fee included in each price.)
Room: Lakewood Center
Program Registration is Closed.

The Refuge Vow is the traditional step of formally becoming a Buddhist by taking "refuge" in both the inner and outer aspects of the Buddha, the dharma, and the sangha. The Bodhisattva Vow is a further extension of one's personal commitment to awakening and to be of ongoing benefit to others.

This weekend will look at the meaning of these commitments, and of the world view they represent. The teachings will be from the perspective of what it means to be a Shambhala Buddhist -- as we enter the stream of dharma, how do we integrate the teachings of the Buddha into our life in a meaningful way?

Friday evening and Saturday will be teachings open to all as well as preparation for the actual Vow Ceremonies.  Full participation in the weekend program is required for vow-takers. If you wish to attend the program without taking vows please go here to register.

Sunday morning will be a retreat only for those intending to take one of the Vows that afternoon.

Preparation for taking either of the Vows:

Prior Reading (strongly recommended) – some copies of both will be available at the center:

The Refuge Vow Sourcebook

The Bodhisattva Vow Sourcebook

Prerequisites: You must submit a letter of recommendation from your Meditation Instructor. In order to take the Bodhisattva Vow, it is necessary to have taken the Refuge Vow at least 6 months prior. People considering taking either vow will need to meet with a Meditation Instructor as part of the application process. Please email the Vows Coordinator with any questions.

Please note, it is traditional to offer a monetary teacher's gift, or Heart Gift, to the Acharya as preceptor for both the Refuge and Bodhisattva vows. (This is separate from the gift offered during the Bodhisattva Vow ceremony.)

For those who are planning to take the Bodhisattva Vow, please be aware that one traditional aspect of this vow ceremony is to offer a gift to the Acharya as a representative of the lineage, representing your intention to let go of fixation and to offer yourself to others. Traditionally one offers something which has both some personal and intrinsic value and is difficult to part with. The gift could be monetary but this is not at all necessary.

Sunday Afternoon Schedule

3:00 pm  Bodhisattva Vow Ceremony (open only to those taking, or who have taken the Bodhisattva Vow) 
4:00 pm  Refuge Vow Ceremony (open to the public, including friends and family) 
5:00 pm  Reception

The suggested program donation includes an invitation to the community celebration and shrine blessing following the program on Saturday evening.

Bodhisattva Refuge VowAcharya Eric Spiegel grew up on Manhattan's Lower East Side in a lefty family that he describes as "fundamentalist atheists."

In 1971 he met and became a student of  Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. He has worked in the financial sector for decades and in 2002 he left Wall Street to devote more time to teaching. The following year, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche appointed him an Acharya, which means "senior teacher." He is the Acharya for the New York Shambhala Community and teaches and has students in NYC, around the US, and internationally.

He has worked extensively with people facing death and with issues related to death and dying. He also works and teaches within the Shambhala tradition on developing a more awakened attitude toward wealth and money.

Generosity Policy: Our Generosity Policy helps make programming available to all those who wish to participate.  We cannot accept Generosity Policy requests at the door, so please make arrangements in advance by contacting the Program Coordinator.

Patron Price: If you are able, please consider registering with the Patron price. By offering a little more, you help make programs accessible to others. Thank you!