Taking Refuge
with Venerable Robina Courtin

Mon Jun 3, 5–6pm EDT


The Buddhist Refuge celebration marks a practitioner’s first step on the path to enlightenment. Up to now when life has been hard, we have turned for refuge and comfort to a relative, money, sex, or drugs. With Buddhist Refuge, we learn to seek comfort in the Three Jewels. The Three Jewels are: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. The Buddha are the enlightened beings – and ultimately us – who have the wisdom to lead a pure life. The Dharma is the wisdom that they embody – and that ultimately we will embody too. The Sangha are the ordained teachers that help us reach these conditions – and that we ultimately will have inside. During the Refuge ceremony, the most important thing to have is a sincere wish to discover and practice the teachings, to discover that the solution to our problems is inside of us. In this way, we become “inner beings” that see our happiness as under our own control. In that sense, in Lama Yeshe’s words, Refuge becomes more of an attitude towards our own life, rather than a ritual.

Click here for a teaching from Lama Yeshe about the deeper meaning of refuge.

We are pleased to announce that Venerable Robina Courtin has kindly agreed to offer Refuge in the Three Jewels followed by the Five Lay Vows. First she will give a brief teaching on the meaning and benefits of this step on the spiritual path, which leads us to ultimate liberation, thereby leaving suffering behind and attaining happiness. 

You are warmly invited to participate in this ceremony where you will receive Refuge vows. It’s recommended to offer a khata and optionally give dana to the teacher to create further merit.

Important Note

This is an in-person and online event. Please review our latest Covid-19 policy if you are attending in person. For online, the events will be administered using Zoom*.

After registering, the system automatically sends a confirmation and/or a receipt email that contains the Zoom meeting link and/or other instructions. If you don’t immediately receive the system email(s) or you have any other questions, please contact us at registration@shantidevanyc.org.

*Zoom is an interactive video-conferencing tool that allows participants to see one another and ask questions. You will need a computer, a tablet or a smartphone with the Zoom application to attend. If you are using Zoom for the first time, please login earlier to allow any necessary installations on your device.


Open donation: free, $5, $10, $21, $35, $50, $108

Your generosity makes it possible for us to share the Dharma and continue working together for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Shantideva Center may publish recorded sessions in the public domain (e.g., on YouTube). By registering for this event, you are agreeing to give your consent to this process. To protect your privacy, we recommend being conscious about any personal information you share during the sessions. To further enhance anonymity, you may want to consider turning off video or naming yourself using abbreviations.

Time zone: US Eastern Daylight Time (GMT/UTC-4)

For questions regarding registration, please email registration@shantidevanyc.org for assistance.


Available soon.

About the Teacher

Venerable Robina Courtin has worked full-time for Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s organization, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, since her ordination in the late 1970s. Over the years she has served as editorial director of Wisdom Publications, editor of Mandala Magazine, executive director of Liberation Prison Project, and as a touring teacher of Buddhism. Her life and work with prisoners have been featured in the documentary films Chasing Buddha and Key to Freedom. Venerable Robina is known for her straightforward and energetic teaching style, helping people discover the potential of their own minds with clear explanations about Tibetan Buddhism and how to apply it to their lives.

Visit her website at https://www.robinacourtin.com.