The Maine Retreat



The Loneliness and Joy of Discipline (H16)*

“You cannot develop yourself properly unless you give up your need for companionship. Once you give up your search for companionship, you can make friends with your loneliness. At that point, you become a genuine practitioner.”

Cutting the Roots of Samsara (H18)

“As a result of individual discipline, your behavior of body, speech, and mind becomes admirable and good. You begin to develop a natural sense of not harming yourself or others. You begin to plant mindfulness in your basic consciousness, or alaya. You become a natural adept.”

Continually Gnawing Rock (H19)

“Discipline is not based on feeling guilty or trying to avoid painful situations and cultivate pleasurable ones. It is a natural process that binds together body, speech, and mind. When your mind is together, your body and speech will also be together. Your entire state of being will be in harmony, which makes a wholesome human being.”

Refraining from Harm (H21)

“It is good to take the precepts. The practice of taking the five precepts is not just a liturgy or purely ceremonial. You should pay heed to what you are doing. This is definitely the starting point of hinayana, and you should do it properly. You could become sane, spread the dharma, and work for others.”

Mahayana 9. Awakening Your Enlightened Genes

“There is no limit as to how much you could develop loving-kindness toward yourself or compassion toward others. You can go all the way. It is like the atmosphere, which has no boundaries. You can achieve complete freedom; you can experience vastness.”


Cultivating Wholesomeness (M6)

“If you have awareness in whatever you do, you always have a sense of basic decency. You do not cheat. You do not do things just because they are traditional, and you don’t just do something this year simply because you did it last year. You always try to practice your discipline as genuinely and honestly as possible—to the point where the honesty and genuineness begin to hurt.”

Expanding Your Practice (M7)

“When you do not work for personal achievement and are not solely dedicated to yourself, you begin to develop a more expansive vision and more natural communication. You realize that working on yourself is not the biggest project of all. You see that relating with others is more important and real.”

Paramitas: Techniques of Nongrasping (M 25)

“Paramita practice is based on human decency, and how to be in the world and help others who are suffering. . . . Paramita practice is the essence of how to be a bodhisattva. A bodhisattva is someone who is brave, and utterly and thoroughly involved in the discipline taught by the Buddha. Bodhisattvas are ideally soaked in the water of helping others in every way.”

Uncovering Indestructible Goodness and Wakefulness (V4)

“Once people are more realized, they tend to retire from the world. However, there is a need for familiarity with samsara, and according to the samsaric world you have to relate with a trade or profession.”

Unconditional Ground (V14)

“The meaning of tantra is continuity. There is continuity from the beginning of the journey— from when we become refugees on the hinayana path, through when we become helpers of others, or would-be bodhisattvas on the mahayana path, and through the greater sanity that arises as we go on to the vajrayana. Throughout, the point is to attain freedom from the kleshas.”

The Root Guru as the Epitome of Freedom (V8)

“ . . . a student with devotion is like a flower that is open to the rain: the flower allows rainfall to drop into it, and the rain makes the flower beautiful and gives it long life. The thunder and rain are connected with the teacher, and when the student opens up to that, the student can be alive and exist without neurosis. Therefore, devotion is very important.”
* H, M, V refer to chapters in the three Profound Treasury volumes (hinayana, mahayana, and vajrayana).