I will add to what Stu has said. The first .cdsinit file found by the search mechanism causes that file to be loaded and the search stops, so no more .cdsinit files would be automatically loaded. However, the samples/local/.cdsinit file could contain SKILL code to load further .cdsinit files, if present. For example:
The .cdsenv files follow a slightly different search methodology in that any files found on the search path will be loaded. Additionally the environment variable CDS_LOAD_ENV can help to control which, if any, .cdsenv files are loaded, with values like addCWD, CSF, CWD, False, and CWDElseHome. The CSF setting instructs to use the Cadence Search File mechanism.
I hope that this helps you to set up your environment!