We always have the choice of what our basis of operation will be. Even when we lose track and forget who we most fundamentally are, our Buddha nature continues to operate. And we can, by simply remembering our vow to awaken, turn our heart and mind back in the direction of Buddha.
This is the significance of taking refuge. We can develop a habit of taking refuge in our Buddha nature, guided in our actions by the precepts, rather than falling back into taking “refuge” in our habitual, samsaric states of mind and reactivity.
When we take refuge in our Buddha nature we are open, aware, free, and intimate with all that shares this moment with us, just as it is.