Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Middling Stages of Meditation – Part 3

In Mahayana Buddhism the aim of all efforts is not only to attain Self-Liberation, but to do so in order to help other sentient beings to rid themselves from suffering and cyclic existence, in other words, to help them to achieve liberation too. This is known as the ideal of the Bodhisattva.

In this line: “Bodhicitta is a ‘mental consciousness’ which is the entry way to the Mahayana path and is concomitant with its assistant aspiration that focuses on complete enlightenment for the benefit of others.

Bodhicitta is of two types: conventional and ultimate. Conventional Bodhicitta is the cultivation of the initial thought that aspires to attain unsurpassable and perfectly consummated Buddhahood in order to benefit all wandering sentient beings. The ultimate bodhicitta is transcendental and free from all elaborations. It is extremely clear, the object of the ultimate, stainless, unwavering, like a butter lamp undisturbed by the wind.
This is achieved through constant and respectful familiarity with the Yoga of Calm Abiding Meditation and Special Insight over a long period of time.

Calm Abiding & Insight Meditation

It is very important to understand that:

Yogis cannot eliminate mental obscurations merely by familiarizing themselves with calm abiding (Shamata) meditation alone. It will only suppress the disturbing emotions and delusions temporarily. Without the light of wisdom, the latent potential of the disturbing emotions cannot be thoroughly destroyed, and therefore their complete destruction will not be possible.

For this reason, the Unraveling of the Thought Sutras says:

Concentration can suppress the disturbing emotions properly and the wisdom can thoroughly destroy their latent potential’.

The Unraveling of the Thought Sutras also says:

“Even if you meditate with
single-pointed concentration
You will not destroy the
misconception of the Self
And your disturbing emotions
will disturb you again;
This is like Udrak’s single-pointed meditation.

When the selflessness of
phenomena is examined specifically,
And meditation are performed
on the basis of that analysis,
That is the cause of the resultant liberation;
No other cause can bring peace.”

For this reasons, those who wish to attain the thoroughly purified transcendent wisdom by eliminating all obscurations should meditate on wisdom while remaining in calm abiding meditation.

The Heap of Jewels Sutra says:

Single-pointed concentration is achieved by adhering to moral ethics. With the achievement of single-pointed concentration, you meditate on wisdom. Wisdom helps you to attain a pure pristine awareness. Through pure pristine awareness your moral conduct is perfected.

A Yogi’s mind will be distracted to various objects if he cultivates only special insight without meditating on a calmly abiding mind. It will be unstable like a butter lamp in the wind. Due to the power of calm abiding meditation, the mind will not be disturbed by the wind of conceptual thoughts (... and) special insight eliminates every stain of wrong views.

The Moon Lamp Sutra says:

By the force of calm abiding meditation, the mind will become unwavering, and with insight it will become like a mountain.

Therefore, maintain a Yogic practice of them both.

Initially the Yogi should seek the prerequisites that can assist him in actualizing calm abiding meditation and special insight quickly and easily. So we’ll see those in the next post.

Namaskar !!

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