Entering the Stream: Refuge and Bodhisattva Vows

with Acharya Eric Spiegel

November 16th—November 18th (2018)

Date details +
  • $260 Patron
  • $220 General
  • $180 Members
  • ($20.00 Material Fee included in each price.)

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.

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 open teachings as well as preparation for the actual Vow Ceremonies.  

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

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.

Full participation in the weekend program is required for vow-takers.

Preparation for the Vow

Prior Reading (strongly recommended) – both will be available in the center bookstore:

The Refuge Vow Sourcebook

The Bodhisattva Vow Sourcebook

People considering taking either vow will need to meet with a Meditation Instructor as part of the application process. After meeting, please have your Meditation Instructor email a letter of recommendation to the Dan Schreibman, Programs Coordinator at: [email protected]. Please email Dan 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.)

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

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. To utilize the Generosity Policy, please call the Registrar at 212-675-6544. We cannot accept Generosity Policy registrations at the door, so please make arrangements in advance.

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!