Q: Rinpoche, is it necessary to do some shorter retreat before going into a three years retreat?
A: I think, the most important is that you do short retreat, it can be like one day, like example you start on the weekend, and then you start with one session in the evening, one session in the morning. You can start like that on the weekend. And then slowly you do Sunday full day practice, four sessions a day. Then slowly you do Saturday, Sunday. Then gradually you do one week, two weeks, like that.
But the real principle to do practice, to do retreat, is that you have to do practice from the morning until evening. That’s it. That’s the longest motivation you can keep.
Of course you keep the motivation about reaching the enlightenment, the bodhicitta, and all the ideas in your head, why not? But when it comes to practice, the practical method is that you don’t make a long term commitment, you make a short term commitment, and that is, “from this morning until tomorrow sunrise, or until tonight, I will do my practice willingly, with full dedication” and that is a very firm mindset that you need to apply.
So if you do this kind of mindset “Oh, I will do ten years, I will do five months, I will do six months, I will do two weeks”, then it will become a joke.
So start with your own capacity first. And then gradually the time will become relative, like Einstein said.
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