Nov 16

Kalu Rinpoche | Advice to the 3-Year Retreatants

So today you are going to enter the 3-Year Retreat.

And the most important is don’t, don’t go to the retreat with the idea of “you need to achieve everything in the spiritual path”. Just have a pure intention, and that’s the most important. Don’t, don’t, don’t imagine to be “remarkable”. Don’t imagine to be “remarkable”, or “unique”, or “special”, or “achieve something out of retreat” just because you entering the retreat. Have a pure intention, that “today, from this onward, I do 3-Year Retreat and then, then eventually to benefit all the sentient beings”. Simple as that.

And then, when you are in the retreat, you know, just focus on the practice and then, whether you are progressing with your practice or not, there’s a one indication, and that one indication is: doing less. Doing less, you know? That’s the, that’s the spiritual improvement, indication. You know? Seeing “that dream” and “that sign” and “this auspicious”, and “that” and “this” will, will come and go. That’s not really the progressive sign. The real progressive sign is that when you tend to have a mindset that, you know, less engagement but simply the Dharma practice, and that is the, the sign of progress.

And then, the last, you know, part of the advice is don’t be too close with each other, even you are staying in a very small space. It’s good to talk, what needs to be talked, it’s good to discuss, what needs to be discussed, it’s good to work together to clean or to prepare the shrine and that sort of a thing, but other than that, unnecessary engagement, keep yourself in the limit, you know, that will eventually help you in a long run, in the retreat.

Now to summarise what I said:
Number one: don’t, abandon the idea of you need to be “spectacular”, or “amazing”, or “unique” or “special”. Abandon these ideas, and just simply enter the retreat with a pure intention that you simply want to benefit all the sentient being. Number one.

Number two: whatever the auspicious sign that you may see, internally, externally, in the retreat, experience it, be joyful, let it go. The real progress in your spiritual path is that when you have a sense of less desire to engage in unnecessary activities, and you see it as an unnecessary activities and you disengage from all the different activities, and rather, being mindful and aware. And that’s a second thing.

Third thing is that: even you are very, in a very small space, keep yourself in a good limitation, don’t be too close. Everybody is there to practice, you know, you are not there to camp. You know? You’re there to practice. So therefore, keep your mind. If there’s something to clean, if there’s something to decorate with the shrine, to, to work together, do it. If there’s a little chat you want to have, have a little chat, not a problem. But unnecessary conversation, unrelated topic, avoid it. Just focus on your practice. Okay?

And the final part is: don’t be too tight, don’t be too loose, just try to balance it.

And if you have any questions, speak to your retreat masters, which are Lama Mingyour, Lama Drolma. Lama Mingyour is going to be your retreat master, and Lama Drolma is going to be the junior retreat master. So in case Lama Mingyour is not there all the time, and then Lama Drolma will be there as much as she can. Okay? So that’s that.


Kalu Rinpoche
Lhabab Düchen – November 15, 2022

Paldenshangpa La Boulaye France