In the beginning, listen to many teachings
In the middle, take all teachings as personal advice
In the end, practice day and night without let
Throughout these three stages, dedicate the merit
To the continuation of the enlightenment tradition…
The sign of having listened correctly is that the meaning of all the teachings heard will begin to arise as personal advice. Then when this second step becomes firm, one naturally inclines toward intensively practising day and night without let.
The three main activities on the Buddhist path to enlightenment aare study, contemplation and meditation. Meditation is of two types: analytical (ie cursive, reflective) and fixed (ie non cursive, formal). It is a mistake to practice only the latter of these two types.
It is not necessary to retreat to a remote cave in order to practice meditation. Any quiet place will do.
Je Land-dol Rinpoche once said; “an intermediate scholar meditator is equal to a great hermit meditator.” What he meant by this is that it is best to have study and contemplation as the basis. Then meditation becomes really powerful.
While pursuing our studies, we should train in the vast and profound oral instructions that constitute the fundamental Buddhist path. On top of that, we should cultivate the samadhi that combines serenity (shamatha) with insight (vipashyana) and thus accomplish the two final perfections of meditation and wisdom.