Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Past 37 practices of a Bodhisattva by Geshe Sonam Rinchen:

What follows is my commentary on the root text. Read the Geshe's commentary. I'm development my own thinking, and it's not necessarily meant to teach anyone, though if it helps, great. I am a hugely flawed human being who can demonstrate lack of integrity. Better yet is having integrity. I work to progress, am not an example of perfection.


By avoiding bad objects, disturbing emotions
      gradually decrease.
Without distraction, virtuous activities naturally
With clarity of mind, conviction in the teaching
Cultivation of seclusion--
     This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

Read the Geshe's commentary. He has his own take. I riff on my take to develop my thinking.

Paradox is not a problem in Buddhism. Do I contradict myself? I am large, I contain the multitudes.

You retreat from life to shore it up, if you're an introvert. Nobody is just one thing, so the extrovert goes out into the world and seeks to do good if you are a Bodhisattva. It's hard not to get caught up in the whirl of life, carried away until you are on your death bed wondering where the time went. Life is endless going forth, retreating back to lick your wounds or celebrate success, or wonder at all the neutral phenomenon. All to often it can be about collecting stuff.

Anyone who has done Metta meditation will know that it's hard to pay attention to the neutral. Attraction and aversion are so much more interesting.

Modern times present many distractions, I feel lucky I only had a black and white TV for my early years. Color TV, then Cable lead to all sorts of distractions, HBO, MTV, Cubs games. What chance to kids have nowadays. My son brought his switch to school, and someone thought he had a switchblade. In a way, you must watch out of the sharp edge of video games. They present a neater world, where you can definitely build up, succeed, win, and other things our mind likes to feel good. Another form of addiction to add to mind altering substances, shopping, sex, food, approval, relationships, chaos... Try to gain insight into patterns.

Part of clarity is not being easily distracted. Clarity is rare nowadays.

How many people do you know who have gone on a solitary retreat for a week? A month? A year?

It was after my solitary retreat that I was very social on a retreat. I obviously needed solitary time to come out of my shell. Sometimes I go on retreat and want to be alone but I'm too enticed by others to stay to myself. Others are endlessly fascinating. Watching other people's retreats is fascinating.

Why not be on retreat constantly, meditating, reflecting, communicating?

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