Buddhist Meditation
Systematic and Practical


A Talk by the Buddhist Yogi

Written Down by

First Published in 1967





First of all, a brief introduction is necessary. The subject of this appendix is essential to the practice of all three yanas. One who is deep in belief and earnest in practice may attain Full Enlightenment without following any other method.


In this context, the term "consciousness" refers not only to the mental components studied by psychologists (such as will, mind, sentiment, emotion, and sorrow), but also to the Buddha-characteristics (such as the Buddha's compassion, bodhicitta, merits, supernatural power, and so on).


The term "wisdom" in the title of this appendix is the sacred fivefold wisdom of the Buddha: first, the great mirror-wisdom transmuted from the eighth consciousness, reflecting all things and associated with Aksobhya and the eastern dakini; second, the equal and universal wisdom transmuted from the seventh consciousness, associated with Ratnasambhava and the southern dakini; third, the wisdom of profound insight transmuted from the sixth consciousness and associated with Amitabha Buddha and the western dakini; fourth, the wisdom of perfect benefit for self and others, associated with Amoghasiddhi and the northern dakini; and fifth, the wisdom of the Dharmadhatu, associated with Vairocana and the central dakini.


Although there are many teachings on this subject in the Buddha's sutras, the commentaries, and the Tantras, the whole system of transmutation, arranged in an orderly fashion, may be found only in this appendix. Through study of it, one may clearly see the steps involved and directly attain the realization of Buddha-wisdom, if the method is followed properly. I present here the crystallization of my knowledge, practice, and experience.


There are seven stages in the practice of transmuting the human consciousness into the Buddha's wisdom—anuttara-samyak-sambodhi.


A. Distinguishing Good from Evil and Practicing Good


In most ethical systems, there seems to be no certain standard defining good and evil, which led Isaiah to say: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; and put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter." (Isaiah 5:20). Buddhism, however, has methodically distinguished the two and classified them scientifically, thus enabling one to know the difference between good and evil. A Buddhist who has gained the first two knowledges (of hearing and thinking) can be freed from confusing good and evil in his or her own consciousness.


Though this distinction is taught both in Hinayana (75 dharmas) and Mahayana (100 dharmas), the latter classification is preferred, as it is more refined.


Among the 100 dharmas mentioned, some do not directly relate to good and evil. There are eight dharmas of consciousness, eleven of form, twenty-four not associated with the consciousness, and six dharmas of non-created elements. Only in the fifty-one dharmas of mental functions are found the distinctions between good and evil. Among the fifty-one, five (sarvatraga) of general mental functions and five of special mental functions do not directly relate to good and evil. The rest are given below.


1. The Eleven Good Dharmas:


a. Belief

b. Energy

c. Shyness

d. Shame

e. Non-covetousness

f. Non-hatred

g. Non-ignorance

h. Mental Calmness

i. Vigilance

j. Equanimity

k. Non-injury.


All these dharmas should be practiced wholeheartedly. Among the thirty-seven dharmas leading to Bodhi, Lord Buddha taught several classifications, one of which is the four right diligences. He emphasized, first, beginning to practice the good dharmas one does not practice now, and, second, increasing the practice of those one does. (The other two are: not doing evil, and stopping the evil that one has already done.)


2. The Twenty-Six Evil Dharmas:


The twenty-six are divided into two parts.

First, the six root-evils:


a. Covetousness

b. Hatred

c. Ignorance

d. Arrogance

e. Doubt

f. False Views.


These six may produce other evils because of their nature, which is the mother of all evil. One should forbid them in oneself most forcefully.


Second, the twenty branch-evils:


a. Anger

b. Enmity

c. Affliction

d. Concealment

e. Deception

f. Flattery

g. Pride

h. Injury

i. Envy

j. Parsimony

k. Shamelessness

l. Non-shyness

m. Unbelief

n. Low-spiritedness

o. Restlessness

p. Sloth

q. Negligence

r. Distraction

s. Forgetfulness

t. Non-discernment


3. The Four Intermediate Dharmas:


a. Repentance. If one repents one's evil deeds, this is good, but repenting almsgiving is bad.


b. Drowsiness. Sleeping for a short time at night is not bad, but sleeping long or in daytime is not good.


c. Reflection. It is good to reflect upon one's own deeds, but to reflect upon evil deeds of the guru is bad.


d. Investigation: One should investigate one's own thoughts and actions, but not those of holy persons.


These four intermediate dharmas should be considered carefully and only their virtuous aspects should be done.


4. The Precepts and the Ten Virtues


Furthermore, the Buddha also commanded his disciples to follow the five precepts emphasized by almost all religions (though explained in elaborate detail in the Vinaya): non-killing, non-stealing, non-adultery, non-lying, and non-intoxication. He also taught the ten virtues, forbidding their opposites, the ten evils. The ten virtues are:


a. Non-killing

b. Non-stealing

c. Non-adultery

d. Non-lying

e. Non-duplicity

f. Non-coarseness in language

g. Non-use of filthy language

h. Non-covetousness

i. Non-hatred

j. Non-ignorance.


The Buddha said:


There is one way for the bodhisattva to annihilate all sufferings of evil existence. It is this: day and night, constantly remember the good dharmas, think about them, and observe them, so that their impression becomes stronger and stronger in the mind and not the least evil has a chance of mingling therein. Such a practice will enable one to free oneself forever from evil deeds, to complete the work of good dharmas, and frequently to have opportunities to be in the presence of Buddhas.


B. Distinguishing Right from Wrong


1. The Eightfold Right Path


John Morley (1838-1923) said, "It is not enough to do good; one must do it the right way." One should have a passionate love of the right and a burning hatred for the wrong. Buddha has helped us distinguish the two by setting up the Eightfold Right Path, which we should practice without doubt or laziness; and not merely in word, but in deed. The eight are:


a. Right view

b. Right thought

c. Right speech

d. Right conduct

e. Right livelihood

f. Right zeal

g. Right remembrance

h. Right meditation


These eight right paths are based upon the ten virtues and identification of all the vinayas, while their opposite eight are caused by the twenty-six evils. For instance, one who does not kill animals should not work for a restaurant where animals are killed daily. One should choose a good livelihood, such as being a teacher, bookseller, doctor, and so on. In this way one follows right livelihood.


Many scriptures of the Hinayana and Mahayana teach us all these dharmas; we should follow the good ones and reject the bad. Thought and action should be identified.


The above stages of virtue may be followed according to the scriptures and the Vinaya without any kind of concentration. However, if one wants to control the mind and enable it to sweep away the inner distractions and delusions to develop concentration so that one may meditate on the truth and discover one's potential, then one has to train the mind through the following steps of samatha.


C. Distinguishing the Concentrated Mind from the Disturbed Mind and Training the Sixth Consciousness


Consciousness is said to be of six kinds in the Hinayana, eight in Mahayana, and nine in Vajrayana. These divisions are like the psychic channel system, which consists of all different kinds of channels, yet the system is only one. No matter how many divisions are made of the consciousness, the most important function of it is the mind, which is usually called "the sixth consciousness."


Western scholars, as well as those in the East, regard the mind as very important. Milton said: "The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heaven of hell and a hell of heaven." Napoleon said, "There are but two powers in the world, the sword and the mind. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the mind." Plato said, "Mind is the ruler of the universe." Burlamaqui (1694-1748) said, "The human understanding is naturally right and has within itself a strength sufficient to arrive at the knowledge of truth and to distinguish it from error." Menander (342-291 BC) said: "Our mind is God."


Both Western and Eastern scholars emphasize that the mind should be brought under control. Horace said, "Rule your mind, which, if it is not your servant, is your master. Curb it with a bit; bind it with a chain." Publilius Syrus (circa 43 B.C.) said, "A wise man will be master of his mind, while a fool will be its slave." Marcus Aurelius said, "The mind unmastered by passions is a very citadel; for a man, no fortress more impregnable wherein to find refuge and be untaken forever." William Hazlitt (1778-1830) said, "The mind of man is like a clock that is always running down, and requires to be as constantly wound up."


However, Western scholars do not know how to train the mind, nor how to rid it of disturbance, sleepiness, and worldly delusions.


1. Samatha


A bit may control an entire horse, and a chain may restrain a mad lion, but they could do nothing for the mind, which is formless. A clock which has stopped may be wound up, but the sleeping mind cannot be "wound up" without awakening. It is a matter of religion and yoga, not only of ethics. All religions have some degree of methods to train the mind, but Buddhist samatha is the best among them. The following nine steps should be practiced until certain achievement is attained.


a. Inward Abiding: to be able to draw back the mind from pursuing outward evil thoughts and settle it well on inward sight.

b. Continuous Abiding: to be able to make the mind continually abide on the inward sight.

c. Well Abiding: if thought falls away from the inward sight, it is fixed firmly again upon it.

d. Near the Good Abiding: all outward thoughts are on the inward sight.

e. Overwhelming: the outward thoughts have been overwhelmed by the inward sight.

f. Silence: the mind has been pacified and resides in silence.

g. Deep Silence: The sleepy mind and the distracted mind are overwhelmed by the deep silence.

h. One-Pointed Attention: the mind always pays attention to only one point; that is, the inward sight, without even moving a little or ceasing attention for a short time.

i. Equal Abiding: the mind itself is always equally abiding everywhere and without forceful compulsion.


Regarding inward sight, there are many points along the median channel (between the eyebrows, on the tip of the nose, between one's breasts, on the inside of the navel, or on the inside of the bladder, etc.) which may be chosen as the focal point of inward insight. One whose mind is often sleepy should choose one of the upper points; one whose mind is easily distracted should choose a lower point. Whichever is chosen, one should keep it steady during the time of concentration, without moving the point up or down. Usually the point inside the navel is a very good one, often used not only by Buddhists, but also by Taoists and Hindus.


A disturbed, sleepy, or low-spirited mind can never meditate on any kind of truth. In the history of thought of all mankind, in philosophy, science, or literature, no one, not even Socrates, Plato, Newton , or Shakespeare, approached ultimate truth, and in all of them this was due to the lack of samatha practice. Their minds had never been trained. According to the Buddhist view, such knowledge contains only ignorant delusion.


After one succeeds in the training of samatha, all kinds of truth may be meditated upon with this clear and pure mind which is the real samapatti. Although Hinduism and Taoism have something more or less like samapatti, they are not free from egoism, egotism, and the prejudices that go along with them, which are like a snake in the grass. Each of them told a great lie: Jesus said, "I am the king of Israel "; Jehovah said, "I am the creator"; Brahman said, "I am the only God of this world." Hence they never touched the ultimate truth. On the one hand, Buddhism is free from the obstacles of samatha, which is the instrument enabling us to see the truth clearly and purely; on the other hand, Buddha related his insight of the truth personally and without egoism or any obstacles to samapatti.


The following truths, which the practitioner should gradually know, are the teachings only of Buddha's experience.


D. How to Know the Consciousness Thoroughly and Distinguish its True Nature from the False Ones


First of all, one should know the consciousness in its whole system, which has been divided into nine parts according to its different functions.


1. The ninth consciousness, emphasized in the Tantra, contains all the virtues and potentialities of Buddhahood. When one is Fully Enlightened, this consciousness becomes the totality of wisdom, without any sense of consciousness.


2. The eighth consciousness, emphasized in the Mahayana, contains all seeds, good or bad, from which the other seven kinds of consciousness are formed.


3. The seventh consciousness, which holds the eighth consciousness as one's self, is an object to be meditated away by sunyata samadhi.


4. The sixth consciousness is equivalent to the scientific term "mind." In Hinayana this is the main consciousness and contains the seventh and eighth; thus Hinayana does not admit any other consciousness.


5. The first five consciousnesses are the eye-consciousness and that of the ear, nose, tongue, and body respectively.


Usually in the Idealist school there are three transformations of consciousness, but the word "transformation" is actually here a wrong term. It is just as the auditory nerve or optic nerve is not "transformed" from the plexus. They all belong to one nervous system. The consciousness is not a form, and so it cannot have a transformation. However, it has different functions, and those are thus divided in the three yanas into six, eight, or nine, all for the sake of convenience.


6. Delusions of the Consciousness


In the Idealist school, it is said that one's false delusions are made by the consciousness according to the following processes:


a. The eight consciousnesses are called the kings of consciousness, from which one thinks of subordinate dharmas. The consciousness is subjective and the dharmas are objective. Human beings usually cling to the objective dharmas, whether loving them or hating them, but forget subjectivity. Hence many sorrows occur.


b. All the outside objects are held by subjective views, becoming very confined. The dharmas of form, called "material objects," appear to the human being as outward things. Actually, without mentality, there is nothing at all. It is as Confucius said: "When the mind is not present, we look and do not see; we hear and do not understand; we eat and do not know the taste of what we eat."


c. When forms are pursued and the beloved object cannot be acquired, or the disliked object cannot be abandoned, humans not only feel sorrow, but also take action. This sows seeds of good or evil into the field of consciousness. When those seeds mature and sprout, they become either good or evil conduct, bringing appropriate karmic results—thus the seeds of transmigration have no end.


7. The Fivefold Samapatti


It must be emphasized that the only cure for the bad seeds and the only way to stop the cycle of transmigration is the practice of the fivefold samapatti of the real nature of consciousness, which destroys the delusion.


a. The first stage of this fivefold meditation is getting rid of the delusions from outside objects and keeping the real consciousness inside. When delusion occurs from any outside objects such as a lovely woman, beautiful flowers, enchanting music, or delicious foods, one should think only that without one's mentalization through one's real consciousness, they are nothing. One should not pursue them. Let them pass.


b. The second stage of this meditation is to rid oneself of the mentalizations within one's mind, keeping the view that the consciousness is the master who creates the mentalizations. If one's view always keeps to this right truth, such mentalizations will vanish. For example, when one remembers the taste of good food, this event is only the mentalization, which may cause the person to again pursue the good food. When one retains one's view of the truth, one will not again pursue the good food.


c. The third stage of this meditation is to rid oneself of both parts: mentalization-objects within the consciousness, and also the view of the subjective master. One keeps only the entity of consciousness in its natural totality, without the functions of the two parts. When the mental objects inside the consciousness are meditated away and the view of the master is absorbed into the entity of consciousness, one attains self-witness to the true consciousness. One then has no obstacles caused by false function of the mind.


d. The fourth stage of this meditation is to get rid of the self-witness and keep only the "king of consciousness" in its pure nature, without any self-witness or thought arising from the pure consciousness. In the third stage, one still has some doubt concerning existence—one is troubled by the self-witness. One has to get rid of it by keeping only the pure "king of consciousness."


e. The fifth and last stage is to rid oneself of both imaginary nature and independent nature and keep only the ultimate nature of pure consciousness in its perfect attainment. The self-witness and the proof of self-witness both lose their functions. Only the pure and perfect nature of consciousness remains. Hence the Idealist school's meditation is fully achieved. The only work that remains is to know that this pure consciousness itself is sunyata, so one comes to the sunyata school meditation. Without meditating on sunyata the wisdom of Buddhahood is not available.


E. Distinguishing the Truth of Non-egoism in sunyata from the Ego of Possession


All religions emphasize that there is a soul, higher self, or spirit which is the master of a being who may descend into hell or ascend into heaven. It does not die and on it depends transmigration when it descends (in some religions), though it may unite with the god when it ascends. Buddhism admits this only as the eighth consciousness. Above this eighth consciousness, when it is sublimated through meditation upon non-ego (sunyata) there is no soul at all. Thus when Buddhists say, "there is no soul," it means that in Buddhahood there is no soul, but for common persons there are "changeable souls" which carry their lives wandering in transmigration. This "soul" is the eighth consciousness, which should be meditated away by sunyata samadhi to eventually become the wisdom of Buddhahood. Hence when one skillfully destroys delusions and discovers the true nature of consciousness, one should make practical progress in sunyata meditation. This is the fifth important stage of transmutation.


Regarding the characteristics of sunyata, there are two aspects: one is its nature, like a mirror. The second is its manifestations, which are like reflections in the mirror. To accomplished bodhisattvas and to Buddhas, they are two in oneness, like two sides of one paper. However, to novices who do not have any realization of sunyata oneness, they should be considered and practiced separately.


1. Meditating on Sunyata


One should use the following methods. One should not worry about one's consciousness or mind or the objects outside the mind. Everything inside the mind or outside the consciousness is sunyata itself. It needs neither mentalization nor physical analysis. By this method, the consciousness is sublimated into Buddha-wisdom in one's nature. After this sublimation is meditated upon, only some functions of wisdom follow. One has to lay the most stress on knowing the truth of sunyata theoretically and to practice these methods diligently until the abstract sunyata becomes concrete realization.


a. Meditation on the Four Negatives. In the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, the Buddha taught the four negative phrases. One should only use mind well-trained in samatha in its right attitude, and carefully meditate clearly upon the following negatives:


"Not born from a self,

Not born from another,

Not born from both,

Not born without conditions."


Take any thing or being and examine its ego or origin—a flower, for example. Does this flower have a self or ego or an origin? If so, in which part of it? In the seed? When the flower is opened we cannot see its seeds until it begins to fade. Is it the bud or the calyx before the bud—what is its ego? The flower has no self at all. Does the flower have its origin in the earth? Why do other parts of the earth have no flowers? Thus the flower is not born from things other than itself. Is the flower born from both—itself and the other? If each of the two cannot produce a flower, how can their totality produce one? Zero plus zero equals zero.


However, a flower is produced—this is a matter of fact. There may be some conditions which make its life possible. Thus everything is generated by the gathering of some conditions. When it is destroyed, this is also according to conditions. Thus the flower is born from the seed, earth, water, sunshine, and is helped by the gardener. If one of these conditions is lacking, the flower could not exist. The conclusion, therefore, is that nothing has a self. Non-ego is the truth of sunyata, and its meaning. When one knows the nature of everything as sunyata, one does not love or hate anything, because both oneself and the objects formerly loved or hated are sunyata.


In an uninterrupted time of meditation, one should carefully think over this truth in samatha concentration. Whenever it seems some realization of truth is appearing and the flow of meditation seems to stop, one should just clearly perceive it; do not think it over until a delusion alien to the samapatti arises. If that happens, bring the mind back to the truth again. If one's samatha has been well developed, such an event will not happen frequently. If it does, one has to leave off meditating and perform some other good practice, such as worship or confession, and try at a later time.


b. Meditation on the Eight Negatives. To make the four negatives surer and more elaborate, there are eight negatives taught by the great saint Nagarjuna:


"No production, no extinction;

No annihilation, no permanence;

No unity, no diversity;

No coming, no going."


After one meditates on the first pair, one knows that the original nature of every dharma is sunyata. One then meditates on the appearance of a dharma—it seems to exist stably, but actually changes every moment. There is no permanent dharma, and since each dharma is impermanent, it is also not annihilated (second pair).


After one meditates on a single dharma, as above, then one should try to meditate on two. Are they united or diverse? As the nature of them both is sunyata, their totality, taken together, is also sunyata. Unity and diversity, then, are both impossible (third pair).


For instance, the birth and death of a woman is neither the production of her parents nor an extinction caused by yama, for if her consciousness did not enter the womb of her mother, she could not have been conceived, even if the father's semen had met the mother's ovum. Yama is always waiting there, but the woman's life might be maintained by some other conditions; before the conditions vanish, Yama cannot take her life away.


A woman's beauty changes daily, and she will grow old and lose it. Many examples of such change may be seen in one's surroundings. When a woman marries, she seems to be united with her husband; but when they are divorced, they seem to be diverse. Even on a couple's honeymoon, at times they seem to love each other completely, but sometimes fight with each other. There are no couples who totally love each other at every moment and place.


When a woman is beloved and her lover waits for her outside, even the shadow of a tree moved by the wind seem to cause her lover to think that she is coming. After they marry, however, they forget their love, even when they are in the same room. Does the reflection in the mirror enter the mirror? When it disappears does it go out from the mirror? Both are delusions. Hence no action of any dharma either comes or goes.


2. Meditating on Sunyata Conditions


a. The Ten Mystic Gates. There are ten gates with wonderful manifestations taught by the Hua Yan School . I have omitted four of them, which are repetitions. One may meditate on the six gates of mystic manifestation as follows:


i. The mystic gate of perfect yoga of the co-relation and coexistence of all things in space and time. Since the nature of all dharmas is sunyata, every condition of every dharma is freely related, moves freely. This is like a great plain which does not belong to anyone—every person may amuse himself or herself there. Hence the "mystic circus" brings its lions, elephants, horses, monkeys, bears, dogs, and male and female performers; all may play there freely. Thus is it in the great Dharmadhatu, which, in great sunyata, allows all dharmas to play there together. The space of four or ten directions and the three periods of time may be united or separated, interlocked or interwoven at the meditator's will, due to his mind's being sublimated in sunyata.


ii. The mystic gate of sovereign power in connection with all the dharmas. As oneself is sunyata, so are others; as one lacks self, others also lack it. Whenever the self is avoided, the power of the mystic gate is opened: one is in all; all may be in one, also; one is behind all; all may be behind one, also; the small is in the great; the great may be in the small, also; the low is in the high; the high may be in the low, also. Thus all elements, beings, and things are identified together. A universal identification forms an unlimited and ultimate freedom.


(Some of the hippies who ask for "freedom" are lazy—unshaven, unwashed, unmarried (though enjoying sex), taking drugs, etc. Such "freedom" is a kind of suicide only. One who really wants true freedom should lay great stress upon this meditation.)


iii. The mystic gate of the performance of manifestation, either appearance or disappearance. When something appears, it appears in sunyata, and when it disappears, it disappears in the same sunyata. For example, ancient scientists treated the atom as a superstition, but Buddhists knew it quite well almost 2,500 years ago. It is not a thing newly coming to Buddhists that the atom can be made into an atomic bomb. The atom is a potentiality in its disappearance when the bomb is in appearance. Both form the complementarity of the whole entity of truth.


iv. The mystic gate of sovereign power in different and opposite forms. Wide or narrow (second gate); one or many (third gate); subtle or gross (sixth gate) may interpenetrate one another and are freely commutable. The finger is more narrow than a mountain, it may hide the mountain in the distance. The atomic bomb is a destructive, gross matter, but the atom itself is invisible and almost as subtle as spirit when not broken. The lungs may occupy 600 square feet when extended, but they fit inside the body as a part of it. There are about 200,000,000,000 nerve cells in one brain. These are common examples.


By the power of sunyata, the mysterious and super-natural maya, though inconceivable, may actually be realized through this meditation.


v. The mystic gate of the various performances of separated dharmas in the ten periods. The past, present, and future each contain three periods. Added to them all considered as a whole they make up the ten periods. By the gnostic light, Buddha sees the future and remembers the past. Time may go in reverse, known today through Einstein's theories, but the Buddha knew it nearly 2,500 years ago. Such vertical connections interconnect and interlock the separate beings along the nine periods into one period. The five gates are mutually penetrated in the horizontal plane. When adding the vertical connection of time, we get four dimensions, known only very recently by Einstein. However, there is a fifth dimension added by mystic penetration, symbolized by the crossed vajra and unlimited by time and space. Length, width, height, duration, and sunyata emergence form the five dimensions. (This "sunyata emergence" is a term I have devised.)


vi. The mystic gate of completion of virtues of the master and the family working together harmoniously and brightly. If any one of the dharmas or persons are taken as chief, all the others would work agreeably as his retinue. For instance, when the meditator is practicing ahimsa, all the neighbors follow his good example, and, out of great compassion, free birds or fish from their prisons. The far neighbors follow the close neighbor; the village follows the far neighbor; the town follows the village; the city, the whole nation, and the whole globe will follow one by one, and then there will be no Third World War. No matter how the facts appear, one should meditate like this, as if it is emerging as the truth. By adding the time dimension, the three periods unite as one, so that in the here and now, all persons of the whole world eventually become kind, merciful, and peaceful at one time.


Furthermore, since sunyata is egoless, it enables one to be connected with all others. When one meditator, Mr. A, takes a person as the master, all other persons of the ten Dharmadhatus may be his family. At the same time, any other meditator, Mr. B, C, etc., takes another in the family of Mr. A as the master, and all persons other than him may be his family. Thus, master yet family, family yet master—they all are in sunyata emergence. Again, one master has his inner family, outer family, small family, big family, appeared family, disappeared family, small family in the big family, big family in the small family. Their transformations are at the will of the master without any restriction.


It is said that very few persons know that sunyata is not negativism. A philosophic and positive potentiality is within it. Also, few meditators or scholars know the differentiation between the ten goodnesses and the six paramitas, which I shall deal with below.


F. Distinguishing the Six Paramitas from the Ten Virtues and Diligently Practicing the Former


1. Liberated Charity


To give alms to the poor frequently and in an amount even greater than the whole world is goodness that will bring rebirth in heaven, but to be liberated from heaven and earth, one must give alms with the sunyata in which there is no giver, no giving, and no object of giving. By this liberated charity, one may approach the liberation of Buddhahood.


Buddha taught it in the Dragon-palace with the following stanza:


"Give all things till the ego remains;

Give the ego till others remain;

Give others till dharmas remain;

Give dharmas till Buddha you attain."


2. Liberated Holding of the Precepts


All silas, vinayas, or commandments should be kept with wisdom, as Buddha once taught:


"Holding the silas, do not depend upon

Body, speech, or mind; or depend upon

Three periods, two sides; or depend upon

Delusion or awareness; depend on none."


3. Liberated Patience


To be patient on the occasion of misery, with harmful persons, or in difficult situations is good, but not sufficient to be liberated by the paramita. One who practices this should follow the main meaning of the stanza taught by Buddha on the same occasion:


"Patience: never know there is I or you;

Neither keep the idea of mine and yours.

All beings, things, and views should be purified

When all dharmas become pure 'tis patience."


4. Liberated Diligence


To exert one's energies to do good and to make every possible effort to stop evil are worldly merits by which one does not reach the other shore of nirvana, but if one follows the teaching below, it will lead there:


"As men are in their nature, so am I;

As dharmas are in nature, so is my Lord

Knowing there is nothing to gain

Is the real diligence, so high."


5. Liberated Concentration


Sitting straight, thinking of nothing, neither sleepy nor disturbed in mind—this is a common attitude of religious persons. It does not abide in the truth unless one can follow correctly the stanza taught by the Buddha:


"Mind is not inside

Nor outside, nor abides

Holds nothing but a void

Dhyana cannot hide."


6. Liberated wisdom


Even if one is wise as Solomon and can see as far through a brick wall as no body could, but sees no sunyata, that person has no realization, and is not liberated at all. Hence, the ultimate prajna paramita should be practiced according to the guidance of the following stanza:


"All dharmas are so plain,

Have neither goal nor vain.

There is view without sight

But one should not view it as light

No request or volition:

Pity on fools is real wit."


G. Distinguishing the Sunyata Identified with Bodhicitta from "Dry" Sunyata without It


The wise person knows that sunyata does not stand alone. The ancients called such a person, who mistakenly thought of sunyata as separate from everything else, "people of 'dry' wisdom." Hence one should develop the five kinds of bodhicitta.


1. Bodhicitta of Will


When one is still in Hinayana of the cause-position, one is in transmigration and suffers many kinds of pains, though one has pity on those who suffer with the same pains. A strong sympathy arises in such a person's mind, such as the thought that if one were a Buddha one could save them. Therefore, the good will to be a Buddha is kept for the sake of saving mankind and every sentient being in transmigration. Every day one should frequently think like this, even writing down one's special feelings of good will in a list. Every day they should be repeated, and every good Dharma practiced for their accomplishment until the aim is reached.


2. Bodhicitta of Deeds


When the will is developed, one must act on it with the six paramitas. In this way one performs myriad deeds of virtue and actually benefits sentient beings. Thus, the eight right paths in Hinayana, the six paramitas of Mahayana, and all the virtues of Vajrayana will be fulfilled in this way.


3. Bodhicitta of Victorious Significance


To get rid of the volition of bodhicitta, and flee from the "demon of compassion," one has to develop the bodhicitta of victorious significance, which is fixed thoroughly by the sunyata of nature. One of the stanzas I have written on bodhicitta may be quoted here:


The best significant bodhicitta

Has no kind of work or date;

There is no real mind from which it arises,

Nor is there volition to hold it.


There is neither pleasure nor pain, sufferer nor enjoyer, disagreement nor sympathy, I nor he. If one knows this well, one develops bodhicitta through pity for those who do not know it. However, the bodhicitta and the person whom one pities are both sunyata. One remains in sunyata.


4. Bodhicitta of Samadhi


When one has completed study of the exoteric doctrines and begins to learn the Vajrayana, one's bodhicitta is no longer confined to mentality, because the mind is always identified with materiality. Thus bodhicitta is symbolized by the moon: visualize bodhicitta as a bright moon, on a lotus in the center of your heart. From the moon are emitted many rays of great compassion for all the sentient beings in all of transmigration.


5. Bodhicitta of Kundalini


When one studies Tantra and progresses to the anuttarayoga, one may practice vajra-love, for which one must develop kundalini bodhicitta. This refers to the psychic semen which contains the sunyata of nature, the great compassion, and great pleasure. Through the good karmas held in the lotus of the dakini, the ultimate salvation may be reached. This is the highest, deepest, and the final bodhicitta.


The first three kinds of bodhicitta are widely known to scholars of the exoteric doctrines, but the last two are only known to those who study Tantra, and they have never been systematically emphasized as they are above.


In practicing the first two kinds of bodhicitta, with thoughts of impermanence and the sorrows of transmigration, one may practice great compassion toward sentient beings and dharmas; through the third bodhicitta, sunyata meditation is added, and one practices the great compassion of the same entity with all sentient beings and dharmas. This kind of bodhicitta is not conditional, and one has equal compassion toward every being and thing.


Thus the human mind, which previously acted in a self-centered psychic sphere, is sublimated by bodhicitta and great compassion and becomes the mind of a bodhisattva, a prince of the Buddha. In this state one accumulates many holy karmas.


H. Distinguishing Esoteric from Exoteric Doctrines


In order to make this distinction between causal methods (exoteric) and consequential ones (esoteric), one must be motivated to practice Vajrayana meditations with the highest right view: that of non-dualism.


From the above five bodhicittas, one should know that the last two belong to the Tantra, guided by the highest right view of the non-duality of mind and matter. For example, the physical heart is matter, but it may be visualized as a lotus by the mind. The moon is matter, but it may be visualized as a mental symbol of bodhicitta. Anger is mind, but the reddening of the face which accompanies it is matter. Through ignorant human nature, the two have been separated in studying them, a fundamental error frequently made by scientists.


For the accomplished meditator, everything is connected with the total truth, which is harmonized by the nature of everything. Without the elements of matter, consciousness could not function alone. Consciousness is not purely mental, and everything apart from consciousness is not purely material. Everything is mind and matter; there is no difference between the two at all.


1. Tantra


Through Tantric initiation, one's consciousness is no longer connected with the egoism of ignorance, but only with the wisdom of Buddhahood.


When one receives the initiation from Guru Vajradhara, one's potential for Buddha-wisdom is awakened, and there is no longer any room for human consciousness. The body of a Buddha is not flesh, but wisdom; similarly, the mind of a Buddha is not ordinary spirit, but is wisdom.


If one has passed through the Hinayana and Mahayana and has begun practice of the evolutionary yoga and of the perfect yoga of the anuttara Tantra, one is bound to become immersed in the deepest and highest right view, identifying body and consciousness. All the methods in the position of consequence of the Buddha or heruka (See Appendix IV on the transformation of the body) may be practiced along with this method of transmuting the consciousness. The entire scheme of Vajrayana may be compared to a crystal ball; from any side, one can see the opposite side clearly. When one practices forming the vajra body on one "side," one can accomplish the vajra-consciousness of wisdom on the other "side."


One should be able to see, or at least try to see, every man as the yidam; every woman as the dakini; every sound as a mantra; all foods as nectars of samadhi; every smell as a sacred and secret fragrance; every touch as the smooth, soft feeling of samatha; every phenomenon as a cloud in the sky; every object of Great Love as the Dharmadhatu; Great Anger as the only enemy of one's own self or egoism; Great Ignorance as vidya; Great Pride as the characteristic of Buddhahood; Great Doubt as the Hua Tou of Chan. In the field of one's consciousness, there is no thought of profane, mortal, humanity.


At least, one should try to see every form as the appearance of sunyata, thus approaching the wisdom of profound insight; to feel every sensation as a manifestation of the truth, thus approaching the wisdom of equality; to think every conception in the awareness of Full Enlightenment, thus approaching the wisdom of the great round and perfect mirror; and to perform only actions of the holy karma of salvation, thus approaching the wisdom of fulfilment. Finally, one's consciousness may be thoroughly transmuted into the wisdom of the vast universe.


The yoga of transmutation of the consciousness lays most stress on mentality. The deepest and fastest path of mentality should be practiced as follows:


2. Mahamudra


Entering the practice of Mahamudra, one discovers the Enlightened Entity in realization when one receives the fourth initiation. Then the sunyata of one's meditation is no longer thought of, but realized. Based upon the realization of the Enlightened Entity, one meditates on it and thus practices the first stage of Mahamudra, called "concentric yoga." When one discovers some volition in the concentration upon the Enlightened Entity, one must leave it and practice the second stage of Mahamudra, called the "yoga of forsaking play-words." When this yoga is matured, "play-words" are abandoned not only in meditation, but in every occasion of daily life. Then one comes to the third stage, called "the yoga of one taste." Here there is no dualism between opposites. One remains in concentration not only in sitting, but also in every kind of action. Finally, after attaining much skill in the third yoga, so that one practices it without effort, one attains the yoga of non-practice, which is the fourth and ultimate yoga of Mahamudra.


3. The Great Perfection


Through the particular profound right view of the practice of the Great Perfection, imparted by the Nyingmapa School , one views everything as perfect in nature. There is nothing to be liberated; nothing is bound. Thus one needs neither practice nor the four stages of Mahamudra. As in Chan, one reaches the goal "without walking."


I. Distinguishing Sacred and Ultimate Fulfilment from a Profane or Temporary One


1. Excellent Fulfilment


When the practitioner has attained the realization of the Great Perfection, one sees, hears, smells, tastes, and touches everything as sunyata, and all are good. The five consciousnesses of one's five organs become wisdom. One knows the qualities of good and bad and their amounts in each thing, but can never be moved by them. Good things cannot cause lust or stinginess. One's five consciousnesses have been transmuted into the wisdom of perfecting holy karma.


2. Sacred Fulfilment


One lives with the dakini in a cave or under an old, lone tree, and one's mind is occupied with sunyata, so that no lustful actions occur between the two. Whenever there is pleasure, there is found sunyata. One's sixth consciousness is transmuted into the wisdom of profound insight.


3. Enlightened Forbidden Fulfilment


Always naked and accompanied by the dakini, one travels over every mountain and village, wearing without shame any kind of skull ornament such as those used by the heruka. Everyone he sees or meets seems to be not different from himself. To such a yogi, there is no "other" or "self' in his mind. His selfish ego, or the seventh consciousness, has been transmuted into the wisdom of equality.


4. Mad-Like Fulfilment


This yogi appears to be a madman, passing through cities, markets, theaters, and brothels, always singing, dancing, playing, laughing, without any shame. One treats everyone like a reflection of oneself in the sunyata mirror of brightness. Thus one's eighth consciousness is transmuted into the wisdom of the great, round mirror.


5. Victorious Conqueror Fulfilment


One conquers food and can take poison as nectar. Energy has also been conquered, and one may fly anywhere. The directions of every opposite are conquered. To this yogi, samsara and nirvana are not differentiated. The ninth consciousness has been transmuted into the wisdom of the universe, the Dharmadhatu.


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