How do we cure the habit of forgetting to learn from the Buddha?

“So we have to remember that we are here to learn from Buddha. I don’t believe that anyone will disagree with this; everyone will think of it this way too. However, let’s take a closer look for a reality check. Have we come here to truly learn from Buddha? This is questionable. Speaking from my experience, we claim that we are here to learn from Buddha but, in reality, we are learning from “me”. …… usually we come to this place to learn Buddhism, I feel that, I feel that I want to do it this way, I want to learn in this manner, I want to learn in this manner!” - Master Jih-Chang

Global Lamrim 2, Lecture 0016

How do we cure the habit of forgetting to learn from the Buddha and not learn the dharma based on our own preference?

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Our Teacher brought out this example when she was facilitating the Lamrim class. Even when the Lamrim Discussion Class students listened to our Master’s discourse for as many as 12 times, some classmates will still miss out certain concepts, so Teacher asked “is this leaky vessel or is it lack of concentration?” After listening so many times, it should not be these two reasons. So why do we forget? What I can think of is, there’s not enough merits and we didn’t clear away our obstacles. So one of the remedies is to accumulate merits and clear away obstacles. So that is why our Master requested Teacher to keep on reminding us to make sure that we make offerings to the Three Jewels.

Teacher also gave the example of many students dropping out from class. When we actually face such a situation, and when we think about the reason why we cannot come for class, the reasons usually are: “Oh, because work is too busy.”, “When I come for class, I don’t learn anything.” or “My family members oppose me coming for class.” We blame external factors for causing our problems and forget our Teachers telling us to work on internal transformation. This is another example where we should be learning from the Buddha and not learning from “me”.

So another remedy which will be very useful to us is to learn from an excellent teacher. An excellent teacher would ensure that we do not miss out the important points and the meaning behind the teaching, which is what Teacher has been showing us. If Teacher had not brought out the important points about what Master really meant, I think we would have missed out all those points too.

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