Anders Honore wrote:Well, before we can get around to mastering all dharma gates, we still have the matter of liberating our own minds first. To do that, I think you need a certain measure of one-pointedness that is just not possible to achieve if you're not plunging yourself fully and wholeheartedly into one approach.
I agree. I remember once reading Milarepa say something along the lines of "A human lifetime is too short for a person to learn everything. Instead he should focus on the essentials." (If anyone can find the exact quote, I'd appreciate that.)
I think a person should also consider which traditions he has access to where he lives. All kinds of musings such as "Hmm...should I focus on Shingon but also do a bit of Jodo Shinshu on the side...or should I do Theravada with a dash of Dzogchen...or maybe it would be best if I did both Zen and Pureland..." have little meaning if they are just fantasies. It's better to find a real teacher and get to work.
I think that a person should try many sanghas at first and then the one that he or she likes the most will become obvious over time. Often the reality of a particular sangha will be quite different than one's preconceptions of what one thinks it will feel like.
"Dharma gates without measure I swear to study/practise them all."
I've read another translation which read "Dharma gates without measure I vow to penetrate." I took this to mean that one is vowing to reach the highest levels of wisdom--which could be done within a single tradition--and not necessarily to practice all techniques.
In fact, my lama often emphasizes that meditation is "not a technique." He hasn't explicitly said exactly what it is then, but I would guess that real meditation is more an attitude or a certain type of awareness rather than simply a recipe to be followed.