Read the Dhammapada Reflections Volume 1, which contains 52 verses of the Buddha's wisdom, complemented by comments for a better understanding.
An excerpt from Dhammapada Reflections Volume 1:
With an image of liberation as the goal the wise abandon darkness and cherish light, leave petty security behind and seek freedom from attachment.To pursue such release is difficult and rare, yet the wise will seek it, detaching themselves from obstructions, purifying heart and mind. (v. 87-88)
The Buddha offers images that illustrate the goal, uplifting and supporting us in our effort to let go of that which obstructs and limits us. If we hold too tightly to the images, we may lose perspective on the here and now element of the journey; instead of actually doing the practice, we are imagining it. If we fail to give right emphasis to the goal, we may become lost in the distraction of sense objects – agreeable and disagreeable. The pursuit of true freedom is difficult but consider how much suffering comes if we don’t practice. With wise reflection we find we can endure the dark and difficult times. When the light returns, we cherish it and discover how to love truth more fully.
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