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One of the articles we're featuring from 20 Years, 20 Teachings: The Tricycle 20th Anniversary E-Book is "The Power of Solitude," an interview with teacher of Tibetan Buddhism Reginald Ray. This e-book, which brings together some of the best writing from Tricycle's 20-year history, is available for immediate download to Supporting or Sustaining Members of the Tricycle Community.
The e-book is available in three formats: PDF, for reading on your computer; EPUB, for reading on e-readers; and MOBI, for reading on mobile devices. You can download the book in any one of these three formats, and if you have questions, we're here to help.
We all know that there are benefits to sitting in grousp. For one thing, it can be a very powerful motivation to sit when we just don't feel like it! Here's Reginald Ray, from the e-book interview, on the other side of the coin:
There are unique benefits from sitting together, especially for people in the early stage of practice.
But something happens on solitary retreat that cannot happen in a group situation and certainly doesn’t happen during individual practice at home. We see for ourselves that within each human being is the buddhanature. What is the buddhanature? It is a mind that is open and completely unencumbered. It is empty. And it gives birth to warmth and compassion for other people. As a doctrine, this can be clearly explained, but it’s another thing—and very shocking—to discover this within oneself. What solitary retreat practice provides that I don’t think is possible in any other way is freedom from the distraction and the reinforcement and confusion of interpersonal relationships, so over a period of time your mind is able to open up to a much greater depth than would otherwise