In this audio clip from the Dawn of Dharma retreat in August 2015 at Rangjung Yeshe Gomde Cooperstown, Phakchok Rinpoche reminds participants not to forget the essence.
Rinpoche gives valuable advice on “slow infusion dharma” — this message is that we need to give the Dharma time to work. We should be diligent, but gentle. We cannot approach the dharma with a “timeline.”
Rinpoche begins by reminding us what formal practice means:
- Sitting down
- Reﬂection — trying to remember the key points.
- Trying to imprint the teachings in your head, not in a book.
What does a “formal session” mean? It does not mean, “sit down and focus.” Meditation means remembering, don’t forget. And meditation means being mindful. It also means means change or transformation. Meditation means to get free from “observer, meditator, judger.”
Rinpoche gives his guru’s advice for beginners. When you are beginning a meditation practice you can do shorter sessions because you need to be inspired to practice, not to feel too tired. After you are more inspired, you can gradually increase the time bit by bit. It increases naturally. It’s healthier that way.
We can inspire ourselves to practice by thinking of the conditions we have now–Rinpoche notes that he does this himself. And because he personally believes in past lives and future lives that helps inspire him. But he is not asking you to believe. Rinpoche reflects on his good life, good teachers, good practice, and stable mind. He thinks that if he doesn’t practice now, these conditions are not guaranteed.
Transformation Takes Time
The crucial point is transformation. It takes time. Don’t give yourself a deadline to learn dharma. Deadlines sometimes make you feel rushed, not giving time to yourself. Dharma, must happen bit by bit — you must slowly infuse, like a sponge.
You will notice yourself slowly changing. Than after one or two years when you look back, you see the changes. It’s very interesting. So, please give yourself time!