In the modern world, such traditional safeguards are not well understood, and the enthusiasm of students new to the Dharma can blind them to their importance.

Confident of their own good intentions, they may not take seriously the warnings in the texts that breaking even a single vow or commitment has severe repercussions.

Not deeply familiar with the changeability of the mind, they may take on commitments that they later find themselves unwilling or unable to keep.

Perhaps the worst case is when students-and I have known some myself-participate in an initiation without understanding its nature and purpose, and are told afterwards that they have now taken on serious commitments that they break at their own peril.

Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche
Mind over Matter

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