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Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche teaches through verse, pointing out the essence of a teaching.  Enjoy the quotes.


Meditating in Solitude or Cities

Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche
Quote of the Week
January 7, 2010




Meditating in Solitude, Meditating in Cities

There are some people who wish to practice shamatha and vipashyana in
solitude. Those people should practice in isolated places in retreat. There
are some people who wish to practice these teachings focusing upon their
thoughts. Those people can practice while they are in towns and cities.
They can take the sounds that are present as the focus for the meditation.
Or they can take thoughts as the focus for meditation and can practice in
towns and cities, wherever they live.

One can try these different ways of practicing meditation and see what they
are like. One can practice in isolation--doing solitary practice--and see what
that is like, or one can practice shamatha and vipashyana in large cities,
where there are lots of distractions, and one can see what that is like. Having
done that, one can distinguish between practicing in those two different
types of situations.

Some methods of meditation focus upon suffering; some focus upon mental
afflictions. There are many different methods of meditation. If one takes a
method of meditation where the focus is suffering, for example, it does not
matter if one has a lot of suffering--that's fine. If one takes as one's focus one's
mental afflictions, or kleshas, it does not matter if one has a lot of kleshas. In
those contexts, the suffering or kleshas will arise as assistance, or an aid, for
one's meditation upon mahamudra.

When one is taking suffering as one's focus for meditation, if one starts thinking
a lot about the future, one will think that a lot of suffering will arise. But what
one is to do when focusing on suffering is to look at the essence of suffering.
That is the focus.


--From Mahamudra Shamatha and Vipashyana, Rocky Mountain
Shambhala Center, 1991, pp.37-8. Translated by Elizabeth Callahan.