plwk wrote:Sometimes I wonder Will, by the time one is done with all these mind bending stuff, would one lifespan suffice?
I remember the story of the scholar monk and Pure Land Patriarch Tán Luán at one time was trying out Taoism to extend his life as he felt his pursuit of Buddhist studies would not match his lifespan until he met the Indian Master Bodhiruci who gave him the 'Contemplation on Amitayus Sutra'....
法門無量誓願學 fǎ mén wú liàng shì yuàn xué Dharma Doors Are Innumerable, Yet I Vow To Learn Them All
No, one life will not suffice. But I do not study all this "mind bending stuff" in order to master it all now, intellectually or otherwise. It is mainly to deepen the connection to the buddhadharma, so some of its ideas & practices can be found again in future lives.
I think this is a good approach to take.
If you cultivate the roots in this life by studying the texts and commentaries then in future lives you will find it easier to comprehend. I think you will also become attracted to it.
Some say that if you read Nāgārjuna for the first time and the hair on the back of your neck stands up, then you have a connection to it from past lives.
I had an interesting experience like this. I was at the library one day looking through the books on Buddhism and came across Garfield's translation of Nāgārjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā or The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way. I honestly struggled with it and the commentary, which was written for western philosophers, likewise baffled me what with words like "ontological" and so on. But for some reason I could not put it down. I felt so profoundly interested in the work that I reread it several times with the help of a dictionary. It was interesting to just come across this book in the university library and then feel such a strong connection to it. Actually when I was eighteen or nineteen and started studying Buddhism I would spend the whole afternoon in that little corner of the university library looking through all the books on Buddhism. I found myself so deeply interested in everything and anything related to Buddhism.
This is still the case... even took it to the graduate level.