Many centuries ago the founder of Tendai observed:
“Even with the best of intentions it is difficult to master the Way under unfavorable conditions; living in a quiet place in the bosom of nature is the most conducive for practice. It is better to rely, at first, on the place rather than the mind.”
The search for understanding requires concentration which is difficult to achieve in the midst of noise. By noise I mean not just sounds but also the business of settled places, the crush of many people in a confined space, buildings and streets swarming with commerce, the onslaught of advertising as well as the incessant distractions and demands of human society.
In the mountains the volume of “noise” is significantly lower, a circumstance more conducive to the creation of an effective Buddhist practice. Alone in nature the individual more readily finds the freedom to focus on what is truly important.
I can’t claim to have come to the mountains to practice. I’ve spent most of my life here and was committed to staying long before I began my practice. But very soon after starting down the Buddhist path I realized what an advantage the mountains offer. I hope to explore that experience with you.