The mind of equanimity, poised beyond the play of worldly opposites, is the highest safety and security, but to gain this equanimity we stand in need of guidance. The guidance available cannot protect us from objective adversity. It can only safeguard us from the dangers of a negative response—from anxiety, sorrow, frustration, and despair. This is the only protection possible, and because it grants us this essential protection such guidance can be considered a genuine refuge.

In this important treatise, Bhikkhu Bodhi gives context and rigerous definition to the refuges and precepts based on the traditional commentaries. If you want to know exactly what makes someone “a Buddhist,” this is the book for you.