The Triple Gem is the name given to the Buddha, His teaching and His followers. They are called gems because they are considered to be very precious. Taking refuge in the Triple Gem is adopting a certain attitude of mind; it is adopting a Buddhist way of life.
I take the Buddha Dharma Sangha as my refuge
Refuge in the Buddha means: to incline towards enlightenment; to realise the Buddha-nature of one’s own mind.
Refuge in the Dharma means: to tread the path; to live in a straightforward mindful way, free from all defilement; to live in accord with one’s Buddha-nature.
Refuge in the Sangha means: to adopt the way of the wise, to act skilfully; to abandon the way of the foolish whose acts are unskilful.
All those who tread the Buddhist path are members of the Buddhist Sangha.
This is taking refuge in Buddha Dharma Sangha.
Artwork: Buddha with His Hands Held in the Dharmacakra mudrâ, Tibetan C18th © Harvard Art Museums / Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Annie Swan Coburn.