Gem of Wisdom for Daily Reflection: 

Retreat from Our Own Fixations

Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje teaching during the Pathgate Summer School 2012

The Audio Teaching ‘Retreat from Our Own Fixations’ is a Teaching given by Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje during this summer’s Dharma Foundation Study Retreat; when students who were working in support roles were given the opportunity to attend a day of Teaching.

Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje began by reminding students that conditions are constantly changing and that we should accept change, while not changing our discipline in following the principles of Dharma. Rather than focussing on taking pride when we seem to accomplish some meritorious activity, we should focus our attention on reducing the amount of mistakes that we make through the course of the day. We do this by practising maintaining to discipline of a regular routine, which allows the mind to calm down and become stable, so wisdom can naturally arise. A true retreat is not to retreat from the world outside, but a retreat from our own fixations, to retreat from our opinions and our habitual tendencies, which distract us again and again from doing what is helpful.

Encouraging students to rejoice in identifying mistakes, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje explained that we need to focus on the mistakes we make, not keep them out of our mind. We must become aware of mistakes we have already committed, perceive them as negative and reject them, undertaking not to do the same again. Mistakes we have yet to commit, we should stop before they happen. Positive tendencies we already have, we should work to develop further, and those positive tendencies we don’t yet have, we should strive to develop.

Such practice isn’t done sitting in a so-called ‘Retreat’, but can be practiced in every moment, in any activity we undertake; by focussing on retreating from our fixations of mind and applying discipline in practising the instruction we receive.

Play Audio (19 mins)

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