Put Your Learning Into Practice

What are you going to take home today?

Compassion, love and the ultimate, unlimited, unconditional love and compassion, which is the bodhimind. It is something we can develop, at least create as an artificial thought. If we entertain that, every day our life will be very worthwhile. That also clears a lot of our obstacles and difficulties. And whatever difficulties we face will go very far away. That is one of the easiest ways to make our day worthwhile.

But that doesn’t end the learning of Buddhism. It is one of the ways to do it. There is tremendous wisdom in Buddhism. The skillful Buddhist teachers select how much we can pick up and what we can do. You can be a great scholar and not only that, the true learning or scholarship in Tibetan is not about the knowledge alone, but that knowledge has to merge with the mind and develop the person.

That is a scholar. Being a scholar just based on information is a well-informed person, not really a scholar. The word in Tibetan is ke pa, learned one. But that doesn’t just refer to learning information, but whatever information that has been learned becomes development within the individual person. It goes as an antidote to one of the multiple negative emotions. It becomes a force behind one of the positive emotions you develop. That is what we call “learned.” When you say learning, it is not only picking up information, but whatever you are learning you are doing.

There is a little story: there was an old man who was not well. He sat in his house on a cushion made from animal skin. He was reading the Buddha’s teaching. The teaching says that one should not use the animal’s skin. So pulled the animal from under his cushion and sat on the floor and kept on reading. Days later he came to a passage that read “if you are sick, you can be given an exception.” So, he pulled the cushion back. So learning is not only picking up information, but also making that your every day activity, merging with that information, making that a part of your life.

That is the learning we are talking about. We are not learning in schools, just picking up information. Even learning in schools makes people do better, doesn’t it? So that’s what it is.



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