Ringu Tulku Rinpoche
Teachings on Bodhicharyavatara
Chapter 8: Meditation
In verses 34 to 37 Shantideva speaks about the benefits of retreating for a period of time into a place of solitude to practice meditation. As a prince he recognised that his power to help people could not be utilised while he was trying to govern a country, so Shantideva became a monk who advocated meditation in retreat as a support to his personal transformation. He withdrew into the forest to bring himself closer to the natural cycle of the seasons, plants and wildlife, his attachment to people and objects diminished. He says here that the grief of others that might otherwise accompany our death will be diminished by distancing ourselves in retreat and the emotional ties that bind and distract us will no longer hinder our practice.
The benefits to others that can be gained through quietly and un-distractedly contemplating the Buddha’s teachings during prolonged retreat should not be underestimated.
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