After learning the Dharma, I am still not able to apply it to what I encounter, what should I do?

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When listening to the Dharma, we often find that it is very logical, but why is it that we are unable to apply it for ourselves? It is simply because we have failed to contemplate on it.

When we have yet to truly understand the Dharma, even though we have read numerous sutras and books and are very well-versed, we are only going around in circles with these wordings.

If you are able to further comprehend the content, and grasp the meaning of what it implies, you will then be able to understand the characteristics of your troubles, and be able to have a way to eradicate these troubles. Once you have mastered a way to utilize the Dharma, then whenever someone is to scold you, lie to you, the sort of emotions that will arise from your inner self, what will these be? Only rejoice!

When that moment comes, not only will you keep cool, you will also be putting an end to creating bad karma. Your existing karma will cease from then on, and you will be liberated.

Hence we should contemplate on the Dharma and try to grasp its essence, and through this, attain the supreme understanding with our minds focused on the good of the Dharma. Otherwise, even if we are to be extremely eloquent with the Bhddhist wordings, we are still not able to rest our minds on it. In such way, we may find ourselves good with words and explanations with regards to Buddhism, but when faced with a real problem, we will find ourselves defeated.

Extracted from: Venerable Master Jih Chang’s《The Great Treatise On The Stages Of The Path To Enlightenment》Simplfied Explanations Chapter Six


In the Lamrim Commentary Track 98B, there is a passage that encapsulates how we should practise. It has helped me temper my impatience when I find myself unable to apply when I learnt.
The right approach is to take it step by step.

Someone then asked, “Well then, how should bodhisattvas practice?”
(p65) 【◎ 若尔当如何修。】

He replied, “They must learn in stages from the beginning.”