beings, there is no question of a time limit. You must do it continuously.
This is how you should train your mind. If you think you will achieve
enlightenment or bodhichitta within a few days or months, and if you think
that you will get enlightened after entering into a retreat for three years
and three months, you are mistaken. When I hear the suggestion that you will
attain Buddhahood if you go into retreat for three years and three months,
sometimes I jokingly say that this is just like communist propaganda. I tell
my Western friends that wanting to practice the most profound and the
quickest path is a clear sign that you will achieve no result. How can you
achieve the most profound and the vast in the shortest way? The story of the
Buddha says that he achieved Buddhahood after three countless aeons. So
harboring an expectation to achieve Buddhahood within a short time- like
three years and three months- is a clear indication that you will make no
real progress. We have to be practical. There is no use in fooling others
with your incomplete knowledge.
-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama from Stages of Meditation, published by Snow