Retreat and Solitude Series

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Drak Yerpa, Tibet

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Lotsawa House presents the following texts related to retreat (mtshams) and solitude (dben pa):


In this teaching, which was originally intended for participants in a three-year retreat in Chanteloube, in the Dordogne region of France, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche discusses the importance of faith, renunciation, compassion, and looking into the nature of mind.

A very short text on the best conduct and attitude to adopt when practising in meditative retreat.

The first chapter of Longchenpa's Finding Comfort and Ease in Meditation (samten ngalso), describing ideal environments and dwelling places for cultivating meditative concentration and insight throughout the year.

Written for his close disciple Alak Dongak Gyatso (1824–1902), this text of Patrul Rinpoche offers advice on the purpose and significance of solitude. Brief as it is, the work is of interest not only for its comments on retreat, but also for the clues it holds about Alak Dongak's life, especially as no complete biography has yet come to light and his writings have not survived.

Verses in praise of mountain solitude inspired by a recognition of the turbulence and futility of ordinary affairs and interactions, including some aspects of monastic life.

This pithy advice for a lama about to enter retreat explains the ultimate sense of the Tibetan term tsam (mtshams), which means 'retreat' but also 'boundary' or 'limit'.

Yukhok Chatralwa records the pithy advice of the Nyarong Lama, i.e., Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa, on the subject of how to remain in solitary retreat.



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