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August 2019
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We cannot simply become a great athlete in one day

2014-04-06-1How can we become a good athlete? We cannot simply become a great athlete in one day—we have to practice every day, and only our hard work and determination will enable us to one day become a good athlete. This same logic applies to our dharma practice also. We cannot hope to become a good practitioner if we do not devote ourselves to the practice of dharma. Dharma is about a daily commitment to our goals, countless hours of effort, and proper guidance from a qualified teacher who can assist us to one day become a good practitioner. However, in my opinion, we have to clear away this misconception that simply spending a few years in retreat will make us perfect, since there are many who come out of retreat with increased pride and negative emotions. This is something that could happen to any of us, unless we continuously watch ourselves by cultivating mindfulness and awareness, and most importantly, by practicing every day—not just when we feel like it. In the near future, if we have the chance, we must try to find time to spend in retreat because retreat will help us to build a solid foundation for our spiritual growth now and in the future. But, again, it all depends on what kind of motivation we take into retreat with us. Thus, it is also important to look within and try to clear away all forms of selfishness.