Beneficial Nectar for All

The core benefits and advantages of
staying in remote places

by Tulku Dakpa Rinpoche

Those who deem it necessary to make use of the freedoms and assets of this very life should start out by thinking again and again that compounded things are impermanent, that all goods are deceptive, that life is impermanent, that cyclic existence is suffering and so forth, that all the appearances of existence, whatever they may be, are utterly futile.

On the need to make effort in meditation while alone in peaceful forests, the Sutra of Individual Liberation says:

Advanced in years, having listened a lot,
One is happy to stay in forests.

You should also become familiar with more detailed teachings in other texts such as Dzogpa Chenpo Mind's Ease and the Discourse on Solitude.

While abiding in concentration, if you think about outer material objects, search them out, guard them, suffer because of them, are unhappy, craving, arrogant, deceitful, and so on, in relation to them, it is the source of many non-virtues. You should stop acting like this since it will make you fall into the lower realms in future lives. In the words of the glorious protector, noble Nagarjuna:

The sufferings of searching, gathering and guarding things
Should be known as disaster without end.

So, everyone who wishes to improve themselves, should first of all limit their desires and become satisfied with their lot. They should then go to remote places with forests, meadows and the like, where they are not contaminated by things that distract them into busyness, and where birds and their young and other wild animals move about freely. Once they get there, it is very important that they practice concentration diligently. In the words of the eminent Kunchen Longchenpa,

Until you have found a support for your mind
You are completely deceived by outer objects,
So, you should be keen to stay in remote forests.

In the Sutra of the Rare and Sublime Casket it also says:

For a beginner to fully pacify and thoroughly tame his mind, he should stay in remote places.

So, you should go to a remote place and without laziness or procrastination, quickly set yourself to thinking about the nature of life as impermanence and then, in a peaceful forest there, you should practice concentration.

Furthermore, in the Discourse on Solitude, it says:

Until four people
Lift your body onto a stretcher
It is best to go to a remote place
And practice peaceful concentration.

The Bodhisattva Shantideva also said many things that are in accord with this.

Likewise, on the subject of the benefits and advantages of solitude, the Dzogpa Chenpo Mind's Ease says:

Forests like that are praised by all the Conquerors.
The merit of taking even seven steps
In the direction of a remote place out of sadness about existence
Is a hundred thousand and more times better
Than all the merit accumulated through making offerings for an entire
kalpa
To the Buddhas of as many kalpas as there are grains of sand in the
river Ganges.
Because of that, one should depend on forests.

As it says, the merit of taking seven steps with keen interest towards a remote place such as a forest out of sadness about cyclic existence, is greater than that of a person who makes material offerings to the Buddha during an entire kalpa.

In the King of Samadhi Sutra it says:

The merit of taking merely seven steps in the direction of a remote place due to extreme sadness is immeasurably greater than the merit of someone making offerings of flowers, incense, food, or anything that causes happiness, to all the Buddhas during an entire kalpa.

Completely stop protecting life and limb.
Meditate on supreme emptiness and peace.
With a diligent and extremely diligent mind
Stay in remote places just as wild animals do.

You should strive to practice concentration with keen interest, thinking again and again about the meaning of the detailed teachings in the sutras, tantras and commentaries.

Considering what was necessary, Tulku Dakpa wrote this in Finland.
May it be the cause for making everything meaningful.