In studying the Dharma, we must avoid these defects:
A pot turned upside down cannot be filled.
When we are distracted, unwilling to learn, or preoccupied with other matters, it is not possible to receive the teachings. This mental state is compared to a pot turned upside down, because no matter what substance may be poured into it, there is no opportunity for it to enter the vessel.
Whenever we approach a teaching, we should be fully attentive, willing to learn, and undistracted.
A pot with a hole cannot retain.
If we listen attentively to the teaching, but immediately turn our minds to other things, we will not retain anything of what we have learned. This is compared to a pot with a whole, because whatever substance may be poured into it, it will not long remain.
Whenever we listen to a teaching…