I've been thinking around this recently ... we are privileged as a generation to have access to so much information - contemplative methods, traditions, teachers, books etc. How does this inform our Dharma - finding and sticking to one method, tradition, lineage or ... studying and practicing many in a more eclectic way?

  • This is a bit of a leading question: I wonder whether any answers might have been different, if the title had been "What are possible disadvantages of staying with one...".
    – ChrisW
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 11:56

3 Answers 3


This leads to great breadth, but little depth. If you want to get to the depth of a practice, where the true wisdom is, you need to stick to a practice and see it through. As Goenka said, if you are looking for water, you dig a well. But you don't start digging a well, stop digging down after 2 feet, then start a new well. Over and over again like this, you will never find the water that you are looking for. You must dig down deep to the depth that the water table is at. So you may start one or two wells, but you don't stop digging until you've gone to sufficient depth to know there is no water there.

  • Great quote :-) Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 15:30

I agree totally with what Ryan posted and would like to add that even though you have the energy and time to practice, you still have to have the wisdom to penetrate all the different teachings.

It is possible and I know of a few people who are really gifted with insight and wisdom who could do one practice, move over to another to continue and moved to the yet another to further their practice.

Few are those who thoroughly understood all the three traditions and just see it as different tools.

To use the the Goenka analogy we dig the same hole but use different tools according to what we encounter on the way. Using the best tools that can do the job most effectively, and they progressed very fast.

Very few indeed are those who posses those abilities and what's more they can teach their students who possess different tendencies and abilities different techniques according to type.

Needless to say the Buddha is one of the foremost, a teacher of men and gods!


The Buddha taught a handful of leaves but the amount of things he could have taught was like the amount of leaves in an entire forest . He didn't teach all these things he could have taught because none but the handful of leaves he picked could lead one to the transcendence of suffering. It's not about grabbing hold of a whole lotta teachings, It's about letting go of a whole lotta everything. Metta :)

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