88. Paramita of Meditative Concentration V — Contemplate the Excellent Qualities of a Secluded Abode
Longchen Nyingtik Meditation 88
Take refuge and arouse bodhicitta.
Reflect that the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas of the past had meditated in peaceful forests and obtained the nectar of sublime Dharma. I am thus inspired to go to a quiet forest to practice.
In such solitudes there are no distracting and busy affairs, and no need to be involved in commerce, farming, or dealing with mundane folks. Wild birds and animals give me pleasant company. Limpid water, edible tree leaves, and fruits sustain my ascetic life; mountain caves offer me my bed and rest. My mind accords with the authentic teachings. Unfettered by acquaintances or relatives, my virtue increases naturally. With my mind becoming clear and settled, lucid awareness arises in me.
All peaceful sanctuaries—forests, monasteries, mountains, and caves—are endowed with many excellent qualities. Therefore, I must abide myself in solitude from now on.
For people living in cities today, it’s perhaps impractical to do a forest retreat, as you have obligations of your jobs and families. Nevertheless, strive to find a block of time for yourself to practice the teaching you have received.
After all, life is short and, as our Lama Rinpoche pointed out in his Song of Impermanence, in 100 years none of us will remain. Actually, even in 80 years the majority of us will turn into ashes scattered here and there.
Come to think of it, our next life is not that far away. Before this life ends, pacifying the mind, reflecting and meditating on the Dharma should be of high priority for us, even if it must be done in a few moments stolen here and there. Otherwise, we’ll end up leaving Dharma as dry words and theories only, which is useless at the moment of death.
Dedicate the merit of your practice to all sentient beings.