Solitude as Treasure 

Yutang Lin



Once I read a dialogue in a drama that says
The most important thing to an artist is his suffering
And only when he can transcend his suffering through his art
Will he be able to attain the supreme mastery over that art

Thereupon I reflected on
What would be most important to a Dharma practitioner
And I thought that solitude should be the treasure

As a Dharma practitioner who has renounced worldly engagements
Ways of thinking and activities are all distinctly different from others
Gradually it couldn't be help that he will become evermore lonelier

In solitude
Bodhicitta is constantly and repeatedly being tested through trials
And thereby gradually becomes evermore purer
To the extent that sincerity expands fully all over

In solitude
The illusive net of delusions has no way to obtain nutrition
Unknowingly it withers away by itself day in and day out
While clarity and tranquility of mind
Naturally become evermore prominent day by day

In solitude
As all sorts of personal entanglements with the world become thinner and paler
Gradually opportunities arise for mind's eye to open wide and recognize
Certain universal truths that are plainly there in the world and in our lives
Consequently one will be able to live one's days peacefully according to these truths
And apply them to help others as causal occasions call for and allow

Without living through solitude
How could a practitioner obtain such nourishment and ripening
Hence as far as it goes for a Dharma practitioner
Solitude should be treasured as treasures should be
Appreciate its presence
And enjoy every moment of it


Written in Chinese and translated on October 16, 2011
El Cerrito, California