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Mastering Language or Meditation?



In the Pali cannon a tale is told how members of the priestly class asked the Buddha’s permission to translate his teachings into the erudite language of Sanskrit: elegant and rarefied. Very much, to their surprise, he told them he would prefer they translate his teachings into the regional dialect of the common folk. But how could that relate to us?


The Buddha taught simple ideas and simple techniques in simple language to the simple and scholarly alike. Upon his figurative death bed the Buddha assured us that there are NO secrets (only for the chosen or clever few) amongst his teachings. There is no hidden treasure to seek and therefore no need to play at being the spiritual version of Indiana Jones.


Any idiot with a good ear and a sharp memory could learn another language. Both monasteries and university are lousy with polyglots. Not the same, however, could be said about buddhas.


In the Satipatthana Sutta that Buddha is said to have taught that one could accomplish full enlightenment is less than seven years, or seven quarters, or seven months, or seven fortnights, or seven weeks, or even seven days. Find a teacher to assist you with the goal of so mastering the eight-fold path (within the next seven months) to such a degree that you practice it spontaneously, habitually, easily, and effectively. Is there any finer way to benefit others with the Buddha’s teachings than as one who has truly mastered them?


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