2022 Dzogchen Retreat – Day 2 Homework

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“Primordial nature,

Pure and vast expanse like space itself,

Supreme reality, unmoving,

Utterly devoid of all elaboration,

Clear and lucent nature of the mind itself,

The essence of enlightenment—

In seeing this unmoving and unchanging perfect ground,

I bow in homage.”


Excerpt From: Longchenpa. “Finding Rest in Meditation.” 


Day Two Homework

One practice from today for 24 minutes

Chapter Reading (see below if you don’t have the text)

Drawing the Ah 108 Times

Chapter One


Reading question:

What places or practice locations do you favor, (where do you meditate) where does it fit in Longchenpa’s typology of places, what mind state results from practicing there?




Primordial nature,

Pure and vast expanse like space itself,

Supreme reality, unmoving,

Utterly devoid of all elaboration,

Clear and lucent nature of the mind itself,

The essence of enlightenment—

In seeing this unmoving and unchanging perfect ground,

I bow in homage.

That the surpassing wonder of the Conqueror’s mind

Be realized—primal wisdom, self-cognizing—

I distilled the essence of the tantras, commentaries, and pith instructions.

Pay heed! I shall explain them in the light of my experience.

On mountain peaks and lake isles, or in forest groves,

Congenial to the mind in the four seasons of the year,

With single-pointed concentration, serene, unmoving,

Meditate on luminosity devoid of mind’s construction.

Depending on three things is this accomplished:

The place, the persons, and the practices they implement.”



Concerning the Place of Practice


  1. First, the place we shall consider.

This should be a pleasant solitude

Amenable for practice in the year’s four seasons.

In summer you should meditate

In regions that are cool and in cool habitations,

In snowy places, mountaintops,

In shelters made of bamboo, reeds, or grass.

In autumn you should stay in regions and in dwellings where

The cold and heat are of an equal strength,

In places such as woodlands, hillsides, rocky forts,

With corresponding conduct, food, and clothing.

In wintertime, you should adapt your bedding, food, and dress

And live in dwellings that are warm and in low-lying regions:

Forests, caverns, houses made of earth.

In spring it’s most important to retire

To mountains, forests, islands, and to dwell in shelters

Where the heat and cold are balanced,

With food and dress and conduct all in harmony.


  1. The external and internal cycles of dependence coincide.

Therefore, stay in pleasant solitudes, in places of delight.

Since on mountain heights the mind is clear and vast,

These regions, where all mental dullness clarifies,

Are beneficial to the practice of the generation stage.

In snowy lands, the mind “the mind is bright

With lucid concentration.

These places are propitious for the practice of deep insight,

For here there are few obstacles.

In forest groves, the mind grows calm

And mental stillness manifests.


“These are places where one trains in calm abiding

And where mental bliss grows strong.

At the foot of rocky crags, a sense of transience

And a weary sorrow with saṃsāra strengthens.

The clear and powerful union

Of calm abiding and deep insight is achieved.

On riverbanks, the mind’s imagination is curtailed.

Sorrow at saṃsāra and the decisive wish

To part from it will rapidly develop.

Charnel grounds are powerful places

Where accomplishment is swift.

Such places, it is taught, are most propitious

For any of the practices of generation and perfection.”


“3. In towns and markets, empty houses, lonely trees,

Where human beings congregate or elves and spirits pass,

Beginners are distracted and are hindered in their practice.

For those who have stability,

Such places are propitious and supremely praised.”


“Lonely temples, offering shrines,

Where gyalgong spirits dwell, are places where

The mind does not find rest

And many thoughts of enmity arise.

In places such as caverns in the earth,

Which are abodes of senmo hags,

Desire arises and an extreme dullness or an agitation of the mind.

Lonely trees are haunts of mamos and of ḍākinīs;

Cliffs and promontories are lairs

Of theurang wights and wild, ferocious tsen.

All such places, it is said, provoke wild agitation

In the mind and many obstacles.

In haunts of outcasts, nāgas, nyen wraiths, spirits of the place,

On lakeside, grassy heath, in woodland wilds,

In valleys strewn with healing herbs,

Adorned with flowers and fruit and berry-bearing trees,

All pleasing to the mind, at first one is content,

But later many obstacles befall.”


“4. In brief, in those localities and dwellings”

“That at first seem pleasant but with familiarity

Lose their charm, only slight accomplishment is gained.

But places that at first seem fearful and forbidding

Yet turn to good as you grow used to them

Are of great power, and great accomplishment is swift to come,

While obstacles do not occur.

All other places, being neutral, neither benefit nor harm.


  1. Since in dependence on your dwelling place

Your inner mind is changed, and virtuous practice

Thrives or languishes, to ponder thus your dwelling

Is a point, so it is said, of high importance.


  1. There are, in sum, four kinds of dwelling place

According to the four activities.

In places suitable for pacifying, the mind is focused naturally.

Places suitable for increase are delightful,

Filled with splendor and magnificence.

Places that are ravishing and stimulate attachment

“Are suited to the action of attracting.

Places suited to the fierce activity

Provoke anxiety and panic fear

There are in fact unnumbered subdivisions of such places.

But here, as aids to concentration,

Places suitable for pacifying are the best.

The others, here, are not considered

For fear of great prolixity.


  1. A meditation shelter in a peaceful place

Should be set apart in solitude, in a site that is congenial.

A very open, spacious place where all around

One sees the sky is most conducive.


  1. The dark house for the nighttime yoga

Has two sets of walls.

In the center of an inner, elevated room,

Your headrest should be in the north,

As when the Buddha passed into nirvāṇa.

For the daytime yoga in the light,

The hermitage should have a vast expanse in front

With open sky and distant views

Of snowy mountains, falling water,

Woods, and valleys.

In such a place the mind is clear and limpid,”

“And heat and cold should be in equilibrium.


  1. For the practice of abiding in tranquillity,

A hermitage enclosed is most propitious

For the natural rising of the state of mental calm.

When practicing deep insight,

A spacious place that has a vast and open view

Is most important.

It should always be a pleasant place

Appropriate to the season.


  1. Low-lying, darksome places such as forests and ravines

Are places fit for calm abiding.

High lands, such as snowy mountains,

Are the places for deep insight.

It is important thus to know these differences.


  1. In brief, the places and the hermitages

Where you feel a sadness for saṃsāra

And the wish to free yourself,

Locations where your mind, reined in,

Rests in the present and your concentration grows—

These are sites connecting you to virtue.”

“You should live in such environments

Resembling the place of Buddha’s own enlightenment.

Places where your virtue lessens and defilement grows,

Where you fall beneath the influence

Of the distracting busyness of life,

Are demonic dens of evil deeds avoided by the wise.

Padma, self-arisen, has explained them thus,

And those who wish for freedom should take heed.”


This completes the first vajra point of Finding Rest in Meditation, a Teaching of the Great Perfection.”


Excerpt From: Longchenpa. “Finding Rest in Meditation.” 


The Ah

Please draw 108 times and bring your drawing to class.