Three things cannot be long
hidden: the sun, the moon,

and the truth.


The Buddha



The idea behind taking refuge is in life we like to find a shelter. The Buddhist shelter from the problem and pain of life is threefold:

(The Buddha) his teachings - (The Dharma) - and the spiritual community (The Sangha)


The Sangha refers to the spiritual community - the whole community of  ordained and lay Buddhists. Such as ordained Buddhist practitioners (monks and nuns). And, persons who have direct perception of emptiness (ordained or lay). 

The Sangha, are a community of travellers on the same spiritual path, who need help of with the correct way and good advice. They are our spiritual friends who can help us stay on the right path and can share their own experience..


REFUGE VOWS If we decide to go for refuge in the three jewels, we should then commit ourselves to the path we choose by respecting vows, as follows:

1 - Not killing: refers to humans and animals, it is both harming sentient beings.
2 - Not stealing: not taking what is not given (this includes not paying taxes).
3 - No sexual misconduct, refers to committing adultery ( adultery).
4 - Not lying, refers to not lying about spiritual attainments, but can includelying.
5 - No intoxicants, refers traditionally to alcohol, but anything robbing clarity of mind (like drugs) is usually included.