Why Learn So Much?

Today at lunch, just me and Master, I asked Master about studying a certain course. We started talking about how people study so much.

This is how I remember it:

Nowadays people seem to study too much. They try to learn too much. Every time something new comes out, some new trend, they jump on the bandwagon and gain more knowledge, but they don’t do anything with it. Every Rinpoche or Roshi who comes, attracts large crowds of people. They listen and learn and file away the information to make them feel that they’ve achieved something. But how much of it do they practice?

The point is to practice. Buddha taught us how to Fang Xia, how to Let Go. The rest was just method and the premises that supported this conclusion. If you spend your time and effort practicing a single method, a single Dharma, before long you will get the results thereof. If you don’t get the results it means that there is a problem with the teacher who taught it, or more likely, with the way that you practice it.

The Path (Dao) is found in only in the present moment. You won’t find it in the Buddha Hall; you will only find it when there isn’t anyone there to find anything. The moment that there is only awareness in the present, there is no space for concepts of self.

So don’t worry about learning a lot of different Dharmas, just worry about nien fo (calling on the Buddha’s name), or whatever practice it is that you are doing. Concentrate your mind on reciting, eventually you’ll discover that there’s no mind reciting, and no-one noticing it.

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1 comment:

Andreas said...

Namo Amitofo, Hello.

It feels as though I am constantly at the threshold of learning and studying and never getting done with these things (in terms of being educated and buiding up layers upon layers).
Right now, in my present situation I really want to get 'active', and not just for my own well-being or for the conventional social-well-being but to really put this 'being' to a good use in this life.
Thus saying, I would chop off my pinkies to 'nienfo' all day and help/support/educate/attend/medicate... our dear sentient friends.
The nienfo is simple - in fact it is on par with Ch'an - and I dare say, on par with any highly realized practice (mahamudra/maha ati...), but please I mean not to cause offense, just to reflect on the profundity of 'nieno' dharma.
It is very true what the master says. About dedicating energy to practice.
A question I would like to ask though. For the layman who easily gets involved in the proceedings of the hustling world a full-open deck is layed out to make decisions - and most of the time it seems as though these decisions only resolve to more ordinary/mundane processes (I guess people study so much because they are afraid of how much they do not know and in turn are afraid that if they do not know enough they will not be able to cope with this hyper-modern world).
Sure, keeping Bodhicitta at heart refines the process in a greater way.
Now I have come to a point where I am feeling great pressure to get out and do my social obligations whereas before I was perfectly happy being a studying dharma hobo (alhtough I also have the yearning to offer the gift of Dharma from within myself - which prompts me to get out and be a professional Dharma boho).
Point is, I want to know how I can offer the best this-self (via 'niefo' Dharma and such) but in a manifestation that best suits this evolving world?
Ex. I am about to finish my BA degree at UP. Next decision...???
(I do not have enough appendiges to help me - except for the one of bringing them all together and chanting: Namo Amitabha)
I could study African Philosopy at UNISA which I believe can benefit the motivation for Afrikan Dharma - but I see how this one decision shoots off several other ideas that play along...
In the end, with all this playing around, I am grateful for the master's advice to Fang Xia and overtone an Amitofo.
Namo Amitofo.