Most of my knowledge about Buddhism has come from reading books without anyone else to talk to about their content. I feel that this "education" is probably lacking because even with the insightful truth of the teachings, they were still filtered through my very cloudy and very ignorant mind as I read them.

Almost every book I've read has stated that reading about practice cannot be a substitute for actual practice, and I feel instinctively that this is true. However, I am consistently unable to translate all of my book knowledge into a real, consistent practice. Because so much of the Buddhist literature I read says this, I become very discouraged. All the reading also causes me to bounce around from tradition to tradition, imagining that one is better than another based on whichever book I'm reading at the time.

I feel like the logical answer is "just go sit." As ridiculous as it sounds, I still cling to the idea that I should be thinking about something as I sit there, trying to gain some insight. Right there I already have a gaining idea. I want my practice and my life to be the same, and Zen says this is already so. I just feel like I can't see it.

Has anyone else experienced this problem, or does anyone have any advice for me at the point where I am? Thank you for reading.