This post is another in our irregular series “The Older I Get the More I Understand Ghandi.” Today we look at the idea that in order to learn our lessons completely we must put those lessons into practical application.
“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”
This saying comes from a web page called Ghandiji’s Top Ten Fundamentals for Changing the World. The explanation for this quote talks about how difficult taking action really is.
It also mentions that we are often tricked by continuous study into thinking we are making progress. The true test is when we must put our new understandings into use in our daily lives.
I know that for me, personally, the application of my understanding is frequently where I run into some fears. In my head I know what I must do. Putting that new understanding into practice is a different story. I have been working on applying my understanding for many years. However, I still trip over this one on occasion. I have gotten much better over the years, but I still have more work to do.
The instruction manual
I liken today’s idea to how we use an instruction manual. When we get a new appliance with a lot of bells and whistles – we should probably spend a little time with the instruction manual. When we just jump right in and never look at the instruction manual we probably will never find the full potential of the appliance.
On the other hand, if we sit and read the instruction manual while never operating the appliance – we never really learn how to use the appliance. We have an intellectual understanding of how to operate the appliance, but no practical understanding. We “know” how to use the appliance but we have not developed the skill of using the appliance.
Apply, apply, apply
Many years ago when I was a neophyte in spiritual matters, my guide/teacher used to constantly urge me to apply what I was learning. I had a feeling that these ideas were nice in theory but did not really work on this planet. He would tell me to “Apply!, Apply!, Apply!”
Over the years I gradually began to apply my learning. Amazingly, I learned that these understandings do work on this planet. All you have to do is to apply them in your daily life. One additional benefit of applying them in your daily life is that they eventually become your new way of life. Application of principle brings you into the moment and into true happiness.
Keeping the balance
In the end we must learn to keep a balance between our studying and our application. We are always doing both. However, sometimes the balance shifts more towards studying than application. As we sense the need we gradually move into more application and less studying. Properly done, this balance will keep us moving along our path.
Until tomorrow –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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