When we train, we first must hear the words, which we then must study. Yet we must go beyond hearing and studying the words. Milerapa said ” You should not just focus on the words, but you should understand the meaning.” We read many different words but we must grasp the meaning. There are also the collections of the Buddha’s teachings, the three baskets, extensive teachings, some even memorise extensive teachings, but if they don’t stay in the mind, if they are not integrated in the mind, it will be of not much benefit. So first we must study. We must reflect upon what we have studied. We have to habituate the teachings to our mindstream. For example, we should read the Thirty- Seven Practices every day. We should read or recite aloud, but also we must also think about the words – that is something I personally practice. The point is not to complete one reading of text every day but rather engage with the meaning deeply. Even if we just talk about the very first verse or just one line in the verse! For example, “this precious ship of leisure and fortune that is so difficult to obtain” – if we only think of this, there can already be great benefit. This ship of leisure and fortune is the precious human body. When you think about it, what are those qualities and those fortunes? There are five individual fortunes and five circumstantial fortunes, and so on.

— Garchen Rinpoche

Garchen Rinpoche 26.

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