Warning: include(/home/russsboo/public_html/components/com_users/views/press.php) [function.include]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/russsboo/public_html/index.php on line 3

Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening '/home/russsboo/public_html/components/com_users/views/press.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php') in /home/russsboo/public_html/index.php on line 3
Taking Refuge
Taking Refuge

Our first resident expert, is a disciple of Shi Yan Chang in New York City. And, as typical of Shaolin disciples, when I asked for a short biography so that I could make the proper "introduction", the answer I got was, "Heng Xing". So much for ego and fifteen minutes of fame. But, this is typical, and it is what I deeply respect about the Shaolin arts, and the people who really practice it. No ego, no self-centeredness, no competition. Just work and devotion. There's much to learn from this.... So, without any more introduction here's Heng Xing, and his (Her?  Who knows?) discourse on Buddhism.



What is Buddhism? It can be described as a religion but it encompasses more. Buddhism is the most profound and wholesome education directed by the Buddha who has achieved enlightenment for the benefit of all people. Like any other religion it is a matter of faith and commitment and then some. However, Buddhism doesn't require a blind following of tenets, customs and rituals. On the contrary, it encourages questioning and searching. It is a path of personal cultivation, the more you study and contemplate the more it is revealed what is true and what is false. There are as many truths as there are billions of people but the ultimate truth can only be known by personal journey (practice). It can't be handed down, taught or preached, they are all only "finger pointing". There's a saying that to explain Buddhism is the equivalent of "pointing to the moon". Buddhism is not something to be explained but to be experienced.

Buddha preached the "Middle Way" but within that there are precepts that must be kept in order to cultivate. The goal of Buddhism is to liberate all sentient beings from sufferings. The first step into Buddhism is "Taking Refuge". One finds a master or monk who is willing to give you refuge, that means the monk is willing to teach and guide you onto the path. You enter into a master /disciple relationship. But within that relationship one still must prove oneself in order for the master to impart his teachings accordingly, in other words, it's a building and growing process that involves trust and integrity between master /disciple and you must prove yourself up to the task.

When taking refuge you take refuge in the "Triple Jewels" which stands for the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. When we take refuge in the "Buddha", we are returning from our deluded state of mind and relying upon an Awakened, Understanding mind. Besides refering to the historical Sakayamuni figure, Buddha means "Awareness and Understanding". "Dharma" means "Right Understanding and Views". The teachings of Buddha is that delusion has obstructed us from seeing the true face of people and the reality behind matters and objects. When delusions is cleared and our minds are pure to an extent, we give rise to wisdom. With wisdom, we are able to see all things. Only when we have clearly seen the whole can our viewpoint and understanding be considered right. Taking refuge in the "Sangha" means you give respect to and uphold the holy order of monks and nuns around the world regardless of whether you know them or not, that means no talking badly about them. It also stands for "Purity and Harmony".

By the way, Taking Refuge in Chinese is Kui Yi Fo, Kui Yi Fa, and Kui Yi Shen. After taking Refuge as a lay person you are expected to follow the following basic precepts:

1. Do not kill; cherish all life with boundless kindness and humility.

2. Do not steal; develop a giving heart of boundless charity and benevolence.

3. Do not engage in false talk, double tongue, lying, gossiping, slandering, or speak foolishly or harshly. Either speak truth or maintain a noble silence.

4. Do not engage in sexual misconducts such as adultery or behaviors that would do harm to others.

5. Do not consume intoxicants, they distort the mind.

Those are the basics for lay people, even then you can still slip up now and then because we are all human. But once you have taken the vows to follow the "Five Precepts" you must try your best to follow it faithfully. The vows should not be taken lightly. Taking the Five Precepts is a separate and formal ceremony in itself just like the first ceremony of Taking Refuge in The Triple Jewels which formally declares your commitment to Buddhism, i.e. you become a Buddhist. The "Sangha" acknowledges you as one through the ceremonial rite. It's very similar to the seven sacraments that Catholics have to go through, the first is baptism which initiate you into the fold of Catholicism, then you take communion, then ... (it's been awhile), all the way up to the seventh sacrament whereby you either go into priest or nun?hood or get married and propagate little Catholics. Well, in Buddhism you have the Taking Refuge in the Triple Jewels, then Taking the Five (5) Precepts, after that the Eight (8) Precepts, then Ten (10) precepts. The first ten are the major precepts, follow by 48 secondary precepts, then another two hundred-fifty something or other precepts to follow, at that point you would have been ordained a monk.

Having said all that, not all disciples follow through to monk hood nor are they required to do so. Becoming a monk, priest or whatever is a personal choice.

~ Amitofo
Category: Buddhism Basics

Navigating russbo.com

Becoming a member of our web site is easy! The link on the upper right of every page will direct you, via a pop up box, to either log in or register. Registration is quick and easy, and only requires a valid email address. Once registered and logged in, submitting articles, comments, videos, or interacting in our Facebook like Community section is facilitated. More membership benefits will be added on a regular basis. If you have difficulty registering, try registering in the Forum / Library area of the site, or contact us at the following address:  admin at russbo.com If you are in the Forum / Library area, you can also log in using your Facebook account. Read more...
It's an auspicious, yet sometimes apparently overwhelming task. Going to Shaolin to train. We have had a lot of experience with this in the past; there's more information in the Site FAQ area of the site. Follow the navigation menu up above. Also, we can help you get to Shaolin to train with the various monks that we are familiar with. Contact us directly. Read more...
Want to advertise your Shaolin based events and seminars on russbo.com? We can publish your advertisment on the front page of the site, and even send out mailers to our community for special occasions. Contact us for more information. Read more...
In order to better serve our community, we are now offering members the opportunity to host their material and websites on russbo.com's servers, either in russbo.com or in a subdomain of russbo.com. More information in the Site FAQ. Read more...
Video Library (russboTV): A longstanding aspect of the site where you can view the hundreds of Shaolin and China related videos from russbo.com, videos that we have hosted long before the days of You Tube and other famous video sites. Membership in the Forum / Library allows you to upload your favorite videos at Media Areas / Video Library link in the navigation menu. There are links to the Video Library (russboTV) directly from the Forum / Library area also. Most of these videos were hosted by us long before the streaming of video on the internet was commonplace, mainly because we used our own server. Supplemental Videos: Another video hosting solution on russbo.com, which is easily accessed directly from the main page of the russbo.com site, or via links in the Media Areas / Supplemental Videos portion of the upper navigation menu. Registering or logging in to the russbo.com site allows you to insert your favorite web hosted videos, or upload your own. Media Library: Part of the Forum / Library area, this small media section catalogs interesting third party hosted videos.   Read more...
You can submit articles and other information to be used on russbo.com. Become a russbo author, and help contribute to the community. More information can be found in the Site FAQ; through the link in the upper navigation menu. Read more...
Our Forum / Library hosts multiple features, including a Photo Library, Media Library, Blog area, and a Video Library. There is also an Archive from past discussion forums, and a slew of other features. Join now, and get to know the rest of the gang! You can find it at forum.russbo.com, or via the link in the upper menu:  Forum Areas dropdown menu. Read more...
russbo.com is made up of various domains, all distributed over multiple servers. The main part of the site can be found via the menu links found on this page. Some of the links will open a new window in your browser. Have your browser "allow popups" for russbo.com so that these new pages can open. The menu on top will direct you to the various forum and media parts of the site, as well as doc's local place for his personal stuff, and, a Site FAQ will can help explain how russbo.com is set up, along with some information about training in Shaolin. Read more...
The site is best viewed with the latest Firefox or Internet Explorer. Older browsers distort the layout of the pages and make them unreadable. Safari alters the text sizes and destroys fonts. JAVA should be enabled and the latest Adobe Flash installed so that you can experience the various features. We do not use pop ups, although clicking on some links in the site might open up a new tab in your browser. Links might open to new windows or tabs because the site is rather extensive and complicated to navigate through. Read more...
Advertise your Shaolin based school on russbo.com, in the Shaolin Schools Section. Create your own school web site here. Just register and contact doc about getting Author privileges. It's easy, and it's fast. Read more...

russbo.com Affiliates

Historical Martial Arts Magazine

Dr Uwe Schwenk will be releasing volume one of his reknowned Historical Martial Arts Magazine, in which he collates and presents his vast collection of historical Shaolin documents.

Having studied martial arts for a few decades now, he has accumulated a large collection of historical papers and photographs, some of them dating to 1920 and before. Since these materials are not in the best condition, a few years ago, he started the project of converting everything into digital format in order to protect the material and have it available in the future. Since this project is mostly completed now, with this magazine, he will begin to make the material available to a wider audience.

The bi-monthly Historical Martial Arts Magazine - Techniques and Philosophy (ISSN 2159-2497) is presented only as a means of preserving unique aspects of the heritage of the martial arts.

Issue 1 is available at Uwe Schwenk Historical Martial Arts Magazine.

Martial artists receive a 50% discount.

Online Users

We have 42 guests and no members online

Who we are:

Shaolin history, politics, martial arts, current events, personalities, all with a unique perspective. With a selection of other traditional martial arts, including Muay Thai, Sanda, Seidokan, and others.

A web site that finds its origins back in 1995, with initial publication in early 1996.  Millions of viewers, thousands of members, hundreds of pages, hundreds of multimedia presentations, and a large group of dedicated contributors. All from a group of people with diverse relevant contacts and interests. A site distributed over three separate domains, and multiple hosting servers.

It started as a personal look at the inner workings of the Shaolin Temple, from the perspective of a solitary individual, an "insider". It has evolved into a compendium of information from diverse scholastic sources, all dedicated towards bringing forth an honest perspective of all things Shaolin.

No bullshit. No pomp. No grandmaster worship. Just an honest and occasionally irreverent perspective of the Shaolin Temple and its keepers.

Welcome to russbo.com.    We hope you enjoy your stay here.