A random bloke asked if one could take refuge by oneself. The answer depends upon who you ask, and what kind of Buddhist you wish to be.
Ask someone who was NOT quite plugged into their Buddha-nature (who is rigid, fearful, controlling, elitist, and competitive) and they’ll emphatically tell you, “NO!” For either they’re cynical enough to view refuge in much the same way an internet marketer would view an on-line funnel system (an entry point onto a conveyor belt of superstition, coercion, and exploitation) or they are just too lazy minded to question anything they were ever taught.
On the other hand you could ask someone who was very much in touch with their Buddha-nature (who is flexible, loving, laid-back, egalitarian, and cooperative) and they would say, “Yes, you can take refuge by yourself, for it is NOT about ritual or incantation BUT rather about relying upon the Buddha’s example, instructions, and students.
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