Why and How to Learn Buddha Dharma

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Our Guru, Lama Achuk Rinpoche always says, “Beginners should not rush into the main practice, you should first be clear about why you practice and how to practice.”

If you do not know why you practice, the objective and direction of the practice will be obscured. If the direction of the practice is wrong, the whole practice will be wasted and meaningless.

Gyalwai Nyugu Rinpoche often came across people who have many years of practice experience (ordained and lay people included), and asked them: “what is the objective of learning the Buddha Dharma?” and the general reply would be: “To be reborn in Dewachen, Amitabha’s pure land”. He asked further: “Where is Dewachen?”. Some would answer “It is written in the Sutras that it is a place that is 100,000,000,000 of Buddha lands away from where we are.” He asked again: “What are the criteria to be reborn in Dewachen?”. Many students would be stumped and be unable to answer. This is because we are unsure about the objective and direction of the practice.

If you do not clarify the question about why do you practice, you will not understand the importance and necessity of practice.You will not give rise to the urgency to quickly engage in practice as you are unable to recognize the important connection between practice and the sufferings and happiness of this and next life. Like many practitioners, you just listen to the Dharma teachings, read Dharma books, discuss the Dharma, analyze Buddhism philosophy. Finding all kinds of excuses to procrastinate practice. Sometimes, when in the mood, you will practice a little, other times you forget about it. Or in the beginning, you practice diligently, but when you encounter external circumstances or obstacles in the practice, you revert back to your old habitual tendencies.

buddhadharma-2If you do not clarify the question about how to practice and rush into the practice, it is like a blind person eager to set on a journey. The result is imaginable, that is, you will either fall or walk along the wrong path. Nowadays, many beginners learn the Buddha Dharma with no one guiding them. They read books, watch CDs, and choose whichever Dharma they feel is good to practice. Some even try to invent own method of practice by adding and putting together a set of whathe/she feels like good Dharma and think are very proud about it. This is practicing blindly. In the end, there will be many problems on the path of practice. This is because they did not clarify how to practice at the very begining.

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