In practice we talk about climbing up the trunk of the tree and being careful not to stray off along a side branch. As you can see from this tree, once on a branch it is just so easy to get lost in the maze of little branches leading in every direction.
So how does one go directly. Climb the tree, so to speak, and not waste time exploring this that and the other thing? During an introductory talk recently I found myself constantly bringing the focus of the talk to ‘returning’. Simply returning. One could say it is to the trunk, the fundamental, that one returns having noticed oneself dangling dangerously from a twiggy branch, waving in the wind.
Side branches have their place in practice, helping to reestablish where the trunk is, however I’d advise against lots of side trips if you can avoid them.
The absolute upright holds within itself,
Many phenomena within it’s own delicate balance,
Both function rest reside within.
Lo! Hear! Set up not your own standards.