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Studying Buddhism without practicing 

is like studying how to play the piano, 

and never touching the keyboard. 

Theory is one thing, application another. Application invariably benefits significantly from study. But study devoid of application usually results in merely obtaining technical knowledge. Not in accomplishment. A student who fails to apply what he learns is merely repeating the words of others. Without putting words into action, there is simply no “music.”

Even worse, without practice, we will miss the whole point of the learning—to master the skill, or at least attain some degree of proficiency in it.

Studying Buddhism works the same way. By failing to apply the teachings on meditation, we remain distracted and unfocused in our thinking.

Failing to apply the principles behind cultivation, we remain stuck in our bad habits and self-absorption.

Like the person who never touches the keyboard, we too will miss any wonderful outcome. In our case, the unsurpassed joy of awakening.

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