Q: What are the essential points to be prepared to start a three years retreat?
A: The essential, to prepare the three years retreat.
Many people they also say that “Oh yeah, three years retreat is outdated, it’s an old tradition, nowadays, we are living in a modern time, we have to do something called Mindfulness, and Emptiness, and Nature of the Mind and Meditation retreat, and doing three years retreat is too extreme, too traditional, not necessary, not needed”. We make all sorts of excuse, and yet at the same time, we cannot wait to be a teacher, to claim to be the self entitled master, and so on, so forth.
And I think it’s very important for all of us to understand that, many things have been changed throughout the history, constantly, everyday. But one thing that is not changed is our ignorance. And to overcome our ignorance, you have to overcome your ego. In order to overcome your ego, you need to set, you need to have a sense of clear judgement with the sense of clarity in mind. In order to develop that clarity in mind and the clarity with your surrounding, you need to develop a different reality of your surrounding, such as a solitary retreat, whether it’s with individual, whether it’s with a group of people. So you need to develop, in order to create a strong new habit, you need to build an environment. So it is very much realistic.
And then I think, whether you practice one deity, whether you practice three hundred deities, it doesn’t matter. The point is, you must do retreat. Not because, how much teachings there is, how many great deities there exist in that retreat. Not because of that. It’s because the retreat itself, the solitary retreat itself, is to look inward.
Because when we go into the retreat, the first year, it takes one year to block all the external memories. Not block, but to minimize the impact of all the external memories. And the second year and the third year, at the time of yoga practice, then your mind start to look inward, again and again, again, again. And then making improvement after that. And a real improvement.
So the first step, is really to take time to have all this ordinary way of thinking that we have, to have less concern, to have a less impact, you need to be in a solitary retreat. And then due to the solitary retreat, whatever the projections of mind that you may consider normal, becomes quite old over time, because you are in the retreat. You are no longer projecting anything new into your mind, because you are not creating any impermanence, objective, you are not creating anything that is based on certain change, here and there, or new people, new individual, new conversation, new ideas, new way of doing things in your life, and the gossip with people.
Whether it is good or bad, doesn’t matter. So basically, all the possibility to accumulate all the projection of mind, you are, based on, due to the solitary retreat, and you minimize all of that, gradually. But that minimizing gradually, takes one year. And that is a first step.
FB Livestream 4 July 2020
To be continued…