We regularly go for refuge during our normal lives. We take refuge in food, money, sex, government, the police, a job, friends, family, etc. We routinely take refuge in ordinary things or people, thinking that they will be able to protect us or shield us from unhappiness and suffering. Those types of refuge can only help us temporarily, and we are eventually disappointed by their inability to bring us a lasting, permanent happiness. Spiritual refuge is very different. It is to rely upon things which are infallible and provide true happiness, without fail. This practice teaches what it really means to take ultimate refuge, and why one must pursue infallible, extraordinary objects of refuge to reach a complete, lasting happiness.
This course was taught by Geshe Michael Roach in Boulder Creek, CA in the summer of 1995. There were no written materials for this course, but the transcript is provided below.