After the recent 2012 Blessing at the Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple, all attendees were invited to enjoy some refreshments and finger foods. Most everyone enjoyed at least a cookie, while others made quite a little feast out of these bite-sized goodies.
I saw this as a very good analogy for the way most of us study and practice Buddhism. While some of us may have greater appetites than others, we still all follow our practice one bite at a time, even if it is sometimes only a morsel.
This Blog too is a prime example of bite-sized Buddhism. One post a day, a few paragraphs to read, then on with your day.
So is this a bad thing, and we should actually be studying the Pali canon in its entirety?
I don’t think that “good” or “bad” applies here. I think that it’s all about digestibility for each individual. Just because someone has a greater appetite and is able to swallow more of the dhamma does not mean you are deficient in any way. The real point is that you are being nourished by the teachings. And this is a positive thing regardless of the amount you take in.
Perhaps the real objective is in the mindfulness with which we take each bite.
Many people may attend workshops and retreats numerous time during the year, yet seemed to have gained very little wisdom. Still others may attend only one meditation, listen to one dhamma talk, and become greatly enlightened.
Quantity of dhamma is not nearly as important as quality of dhamma. Savoring each bite-sized morsel fully, one becomes aware that the entire teaching is right there in that present moment.
Do not be distracted by the last bite, the next bite, or what’s for dessert. All of that is completely irrelevant, and will only keep you for gaining all the benefit of what you already have in you mouth.
I hope this bite was nourishment for you today. And may you be well, happy and peaceful.