Retreat Spots

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Re: Retreat Spots

Postby oldbob » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:23 am

All excellent replies. :good:

Tseygyalgar East has the Yangtig Hilton where several can do the dark retreat at the same time. It is very comfortable, cozy even in Winter, and was designed by ChNNR. It is where I made my 40 days, over many retreats. Others did the 40 days all at once. I found the retreats to be cumulative: the next one would start where the last one left off. In the old days they would bring you really delicious soups and sandwiches. Now there is a fridge and hotwater for instant soups.

For outer Rushen - anywhere where you can act out with sound and activity, and won't be disturbed, or disturb anyone else, so an isolated place is the best. Once in Marin, in CA, a neighbor overheard us and called the police. Luckily there was a Psychologist with us who explained that it was a "primal therapy" session and they went away. Perhaps it is a good idea to have a medically trained practitioner with you / or nearby, when you do the Rushen in a long retreat.

For Trekchö, again a quiet place where you can sink into contemplation and integrate all the sounds and appearances, and for Thögal a place where you can see the sunrise and sunset. My favorite place was the Guru Rinpoche seat above the caves in Tso Pema. You can actually use any point source of light or the moon, but this needs to be explained by your Teacher who will guide you through the various positions and gazes. Again, it is very helpful to have an experienced lineage holder nearby to answer questions as they arise.

It is always helpful to have someone nearby, who is an experienced lineage holder, to advise, if questions come up during any of these intense and transformative retreats. You should always have your Teacher's transmission and guidance before doing any of these practices (empowerment, hearing the words and explanation.)

For accumulations, it is also always best to have a quiet place where you won't be disturbed. This can be as simple as having your own room. But once I was doing Vajrasattva in a friend's house and I could keep it together when they played loud music except for the Rolling Stones and Aretha Franklin. Then I relaxed and took a break until they played something else.

Retreats with lineage holders are what cook the rice.


Best, oldbob

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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:19 am

Re: Retreat Spots

Postby RikudouSennin » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:30 pm

It says in the Luminous Expanse:
"A snowy retreat, an empty valley, a mountain peak, or a charnel ground,
In an extremely remote place, at a place that is bright and elevated,
These are the practice abodes of the fortunate ones."

To explain the need and purpose behind such words, one abides at snowy retreats or in empty valleys, because it causes virtuous activities to blossom. At the peak of mountains, the mind is clear. In great charnel grounds, disillusionment with the world is born. In solitary places, practice is without obstacles. At bright and high places, the expanse and awareness are clear.

-Rinchen Phuntshog-

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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:19 am

Re: Retreat Spots

Postby RikudouSennin » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:43 pm

Second are the general enumerations concerning the corresponding things to be known about isolated environments.

From the teachings of the lord Kaldan Gyatso [a Rekong Mahasiddha from Amdo], it is stated:

O solitary meditators who hope to wander in isolated places, listen here to this song with a mind of delight. Not being able to decide yourself, it is rare to find a true friend who will encourage you in this way.

If you feel inspired to retreat to a remote mountain—then if you can remain at the upper slopes of a mountain concealed by misty clouds where a glacial cave awaits you, happiness in this and the future lives will ensue.

If you feel inspired to retreat to a remote forest—if you rely upon a place such as that in the midst of a densely growing grove of trees, a cool abode awaits you where joyful delight will ensue.

If you feel inspired to retreat go to a remote snow mountain—somewhere on the slopes of the whiteness, by relying upon a practice cave where you can remain alone in solitude, then virtuous activities will increase.

If you are inspired to retreat to a remote highland plain—in the meadows of brilliantly blooming flowers, a delightful grassy green shelter awaits you. In a place such as that, true natural happiness will prevail.

If you are inspired to retreat to a remote rocky mountain where vultures’ nests abound and with natural astonishing caves marking its face—in a place such as that, awareness will awaken.

If you are inspired to retreat to a remote crag in the midst of its colored strips and piles of sliding rocks—in a place such as that within a cave where there are no distractions, whatever comes to mind will be yours.

If you are inspired to retreat in a glacier mountain area—below the sheets of shale, a stone structure where a simple beggar stays will await you. In a place such as that, freedom is natural.

If you are inspired to enjoy companionship in these remote places—while observing your friends, the birds and animals that abound, in an instant their sounds captivate you with pleasure; for to rely on such friends is a source of great joy.

If you are inspired to go to a remote lake, where slapping waves wash its shores and waters create gentle repetitive sounds—in a place such as that, there is constant delight.

If you aspire to partake of the food of isolation—the provisions are the nettles and fruits that grow here and there. When savored, their flavor is most delicious. To rely upon such sustenance, how astonishing indeed!

If you aspire to listen to this song of isolation, a song that benefits your stream of mind, then it is always necessary to keep these habits strong; for to rely upon a song such as this is a great marvel itself! So, it is as taught.
-Song of Kalden Gyatso-

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