Half a Meat-bun


Yutang Lin



Guru Chen used to mention this analogy
Someone's hunger will be satisfied
Only after three and half a meat-bun have been eaten
But it takes so much time and energy to consume these
So he thinks that
Every time he was satisfied right after he had finished
The last half a meat-bun
So it will be enough for him to eat only that half a meat-bun

Among the system of Dharma practices
There are so-called "advanced practices" and "preliminary practices"
The preliminary ones are practices that one should do
       Before one can go on with some subsequent ones
The advanced ones are practices that can be adopted
       Only after some foundational ones have been completed

For a Dharma practitioner
If the preliminary practices have not been put into deeds
And yet advanced ones are already directly taken up
       So as to seek earlier and sooner attainment
That would be similar to the person
Who wished to satisfy hunger by
       Eating only the last half of a meat-bun

Written in Chinese and translated on August 10, 2011
El Cerrito, California