If we totally exhaust ourselves during prostrations, pushing ourselves against our will, our mind will resist what we are doing; we’ll get fed up and become averse to doing prostrations. We shouldn’t do that.
If that happens, there’s no merit in what we are doing. Our body will be going through the motions and we will be exerting ourselves tremendously, but all we’ll be acquiring is misdeeds. This is because it is what takes place in our mind that is the main thing, and in this instance our minds will be feeling aversion towards the virtuous practice of prostrations, and annoyance at going for refuge in that which can protect us. That wouldn’t be good, would it? To go to an awful lot of effort, only to acquire misdeeds for our time and trouble.
So I think we should take our time, doing 100, 150 or 200 prostrations a session; slowly and mindfully, not rushing. So physically we will be prostrating, verbally we’ll be reciting, praying and supplicating, and in our minds, we will be maintaining a mindset of faith. If we can take some joy in doing the prostrations, the benefits will be far greater I feel. So it is in this way that we will do the preliminaries, very purely and properly over the course of a year.