Getting back to the fundamentals

Colourful children's blocks

When we learn anything, we learn the basics first.

We learn how to put one foot in front of the other, how to cast-on wool, how to pay attention to the body and breath, how to chop vegetables, how to read the notes, how to draw basic shapes.

These basics are the fundamental building blocks upon which all the other skills and knowledge rest, so it’s important that they’re as sound as possible.

We work at the basics until they are mastered, and then we move on to the more advanced areas, developing our skills and advancing our exploration of the area in which we’re engaged.

But in the midst of our advanced study, it’s always worth coming back to the basics – it’s always worth coming back and honing our mastery of the fundamentals.

When we learn the basics the first time around, we absorb all the nuance all the detail. But some of that detail inevitably falls away as we move on to the advanced topics. Old details are replaced with new basics, so we need to come back again and again.

This isn’t a failure of our learning, of our dedication or practice. This is our dedication. This is our learning. This is our practice.

Understanding the value of going back to the fundamentals is one of the most advanced lessons we can learn.