Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: On Retreat - Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 1453 times)

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Footprints on the Journey: On Retreat - Khenpo Sodargye
« on: February 09, 2016, 05:27:15 pm »

On Retreat

It’s been 142 days since I left Larung Gar. Before my departure, 360 practitioners there vowed in unison that in the supremely blessed land of Larung, they would devote 142 retreat days to Vajrayana practice, following strictly the retreat manual to meditate at least 4 to 6 sessions every day. I had the same aspirations at that time, but alas, my busy administrative duties and illness thwarted my wishes.

Instead, I have been confined to a hospital bed for almost the entire three months, wasting this precious time period. I have witnessed the suffering of many patients, and listened enough to the horrible shrieks of the sick. Some fellow patients of yesterday were escorted away by the Lord of Death, and who knows how many of today’s roommates will still be able to enjoy the spring day tomorrow? Unless we take advantage of our excellent opportunity to practice, at the time of death we will be propelled by karmic force into the rounds of samsara; there will be no protector whatsoever.

As of today, the 142-day group retreat is completed; this occasion is indeed a feat to commemorate. Such celebration is far more worthwhile than those elaborate ceremonies carried out on worldly, meaningless days. In this period of five degenerations, there are very few people who meditate daily on the mind’s true nature. The retreatants, whatever their actual level of accomplishment may be, must have generated tremendous merit.

“Sariputta, one practitioner, listens to Dharma teachings while upholding the 10 precepts; this same person also practices meditation on the mind’s true nature one-pointedly, just for one instant. When comparing the merits of these two activities, the latter is far more superior.” This is a saying from the scripture, an unfailing truism. For earthly wishes—wealth, sex, fame, food, and sleep—worldly people would strive until “pining away without regret”, how much more effort we should exert for the liberation of self and other beings! Wouldn’t it be great if practitioners were to continue to apply the retreat’s instructions to broader scopes!

6th of January, Year of RenWu
February 18, 2002


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