Touching only the barkThere is a teaching about understanding the relationship between the body, speech and mind. It is easy for a person to do good or evil by using the body with an armspan in length and 25 cm. in width. Through mental volition, one acts through body and speech.
In the past it was easy to get close to monks and religion. All the temple goers practised and understood meditation, the 5 precepts, that which is evil and that which is meritorious. Though they were illiterate, they were all intelligent because they were very knowledgeable about Buddhism and skilful in training their mind. Therefore if we revive our practice, we will really begin to understand Buddhism as a religion.
We usually take the temple as the refuge for practice. It means we depend on a material thing. In fact the real refuge is meditation exercise. This meditation is the way which the Buddha taught us to rely on.
If we visit the temple but do not meditate, we will not get close to the religion. It is as though we touch the bark but not the core. The aim is to get to the core, and to touch the core of religion we must meditate.
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