The Buddha never meant for us to take as our mainstay anything or anyone else aside from ourselves. Even when we take refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha, he never praised it as being really ideal. He wanted us to take ourselves as our refuge: “The self is its own mainstay.” We can depend on ourselves and govern ourselves. We’re free. When we can reach this state, that’s when we’ll be released from our enslavement to greed, anger, and delusion—and be truly happy.-Ajaan Lee, “Sowing the Seeds of Freedom,” Tricycle, Spring 2008

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