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Without focus, 

we will lose our balance and lurch off the path. 

Imagine you are going to step onto on a balance board for the first time.

It looks friendly enough: a rectangular piece of wood placed over the barrel of a cylinder. And it looks easy: step on the board, legs apart, keep your balance. If you remain centered and upright, you won’t fall. So they say. And so on you go. Oops, down you go! Telling yourself that mastery will take some practice, you try again. And this time you concentrate.

But the next second, you think of something else. Losing your focus, down you go again. Telling yourself that you just have to focus harder, you step back on.

Now you really concentrate. Over time, as you practice over and over, and over, you realize that you cannot have a single wandering thought, or you will lose your balance.

Our Buddhist practice is the same. As we focus on “Amituofo,” wandering thoughts will arise, jeopardizing our focus. Just like on the balance board, when we lose our concentration, we fall off and have to get back on.

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