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August 2019
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What is the sign of well-studied Buddhist practitioner and what is the sign of well-practiced meditator?

We may ask ourselves and others: “What is the sign of well-studied Buddhist practitioner and what is the sign of well-practiced meditator?" It is really difficult to answer these questions, however, according to the strictly Buddhist point of view, the sign of well-studied practitioner is someone who becomes humbler and more down to earth, and also someone who lacks pride and arrogance. If these qualities are not present, then anyone who claims to have studied Buddhism for a long time has just learned the words but not the true meaning of Buddhism, and such knowledge is not simply less beneficial when not put into practice, but can actually be harmful to oneself and others because it can become a source of pride, jealousy, and arrogance. A practitioner whose negative emotions are reduced and who is not controlled by his or her poisons such as anger, pride, attachment, ignorance, and evil intention exhibits the signs of a true meditator. Without these signs, we are just deceiving ourselves, and such an achievement is like water mixed with poison—it is not useful to oneself or others. Therefore, in my opinion, we should investigate deep within and make sure that our knowledge is not mixed with negative emotions. Otherwise these attainments will cause more harm than benefits for oneself and others.