May 18

Kalu Rinpoche | Advice on solitary retreat

Q : If one wants to go into solitary retreat to develop the view and the method, what would be your advice ?

A : If you want to go for solitary retreat, never tell yourself: “Ah, I’ll commit myself for three years, I’ll commit myself for five years, I’ll commit myself for ten years”; don’t do that; there are people that can do that, but it doesn’t mean that you should take that risk. You should always do the retreat day by day, from this morning until this evening, I commit myself to do retreat. That’s it. That’s how you have to continue the momentum, the rhythm, that’s the most important.

Be careful with the food you eat, don’t take the food given by other people, make your own food, be clean, be healthy.

Don’t be superstitious in your mindset. Read as many teachings as possible and especially when it comes to Kagyu Gyurso, Shangpa Gyurso (hagiographies of the Masters of the Kagyu and Shangpa lignage – note), all these great masters’ teachings, what they have written, the whole life experience in one page, two pages maximum. Try to read things like that, it will definitely help you a lot.

Always try to watch after your ego and pride, all the time, and count your distractions, do not count the mantras, do not count how many deities you have practiced, do not count how many empowerments you have received, count your own distractions. That makes the difference because anybody can receive many empowerments, many teachings and many transmissions, but there are very few people who can really count the distractions. So be that person.

Don’t be egoistic telling yourself “I’ll do retreat for next two years, five years, six, seven years”; don’t do that; continue your retreat, one day at the time. Be humble, be wise, yet at the same time, be decisive and have a clear mindset with pure intention; that’s important!

So I think that’s it.


With love and respect
Kalu Rinpoche
Facebook Q & A
February 24, 2020