Dec 31

Kalu Rinpoche | How to overcome laziness

Q: Rinpoche la, please give some advice to overcome laziness at home, it was easy to practice in the dharma center, but at home there are so many distractions.

A: My answer to that is, it will be nice if you have a chance to do a little bit longer retreat, I will recommend instead of doing every weekend. I will say if you do retreat like one week, two weeks, or 3 days in one roll. That’s much more beneficial than doing very intense in daily basis like a gym.

Because I think many people when they do practice, they do it a little bit like 3 hours a day, or 2 hours a day, but instead of that, you can do like 45 minutes a day, like a meditation practice. And then what you can do is that when you have the Friday, Saturday, Sunday, then you can do a little bit like a short time retreat, and I think that can be far more beneficial.

Like an example, in order to exercise your mind, you need a proper rest. If you are exercising your mind without taking any rest, and then there will be no beneficial whatever. And when you are practicing dharma, and then of course your enthusiasm and your dedication has to be even more efficient and even more precise.

And to overcome the laziness, I think you have to realize the meaning of samsara. Because when we think about laziness, it is very much like, ‘oh! I don’t want to practice today, therefore, I’m lazy.’ We have this kind of a picture of laziness. But the laziness and ignorance are basically the same. That will be there until almost end of the practice. Because even the slightest distraction is considered as laziness. Even the slightest ignorance is considered as laziness. So we have to understand the laziness will not disappear just because you want. Just like the suffering, we want to end the suffering, but we cannot end the suffering because we have our negative emotions and habits, we have to fight it back with our strong practice, with our mind. So in order to overcome the laziness, you need to have a strong reflection of the reality. And therefore you continue to have encouragement, and motivation and so and so forth.

But when you feel like you want to take a break, and then you should take a break. When you want to do practice, then you should do practice. But then, when there’s a constant focus and your dedication and the laziness itself will break it down. If you take the laziness so important, and you emphasize much more on the laziness, it will not get you anywhere, because that is the negativity. So, instead of that, whenever you feel laziness, try to read the Milarepa history. Milarepa history, when he was in the cave, what did he do? You don’t have to be that, but at least to inspire yourself. Try to read so many different great masters’ history.

Keep in mind that, there are two different kinds of history. One history that is absolute truth, and absolutely in and out everything, absolute truth. And one history that is a little bit like always trying to sound everything perfect. Don’t try to follow that kind of history. Try to follow the history of like Milarepa, that has a lot of imperfection, but yet, has a lot of meaningful steps, and also a great example for us. So that’s very help to learn to save our time. We learn from their mistakes to save our time.

But that doesn’t mean that we have to be arrogant. It doesn’t mean that you have to be proud of yourself carrying on with the illusion of pride. It’s means that you have to be humble, and simplicity, and yet learning the mistakes from all the different great master from the past, not because their imperfections, but because they have left us all these reflections of the samsara.


With Love and Respect from Kalu Rinpoche
Facebook Live Talk on 4th, Sep. 2018