Cultivate what’s near, not what’s far – Master Hsuan Hua

When you first start learning Buddhism and even in other areas of your life, it’s easy to want to skip the basics, to dispense with the fundamentals – and go straight to the advanced stuff.

This is like trying to do fancy kicks in martial arts – it looks amazing and you may knock out the opponent, but if you miss, you leave yourself way open and vulnerable to be counter-attacked.

Compare this with using fundamentals, setting up your defense and positioning, being patient, and being prepared to attack at the right time and in a way that does not leave your weak points open.

Similarly, in Buddhism, don’t be greedy for the quick fix. Stick with your fundamentals and understand how to use them very well. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Try to make what you have already learnt, work for you in some way.

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