Samdhinirmocana Sutra Sutra of Unlocking the Mysteries Part 6A

 
 

Samdhinirmocana Sutra 

Sutra of Unlocking the Mysteries  

6. Analyzing Yoga

Then the enlightening being Maitreya said to the Buddha, "Based on what, abiding in what, do enlightening beings practice tranquility and observation in the great vehicle?

 The Buddha replied, "You should know that the basis and abode of practice of tranquility and observation in the great vehicle are the provisional setups of the ways of enlightening beings, and sustaining the determination for supreme perfect enlightenment.’

 Maitreya then asked, "The Buddha has said that there are four kinds of objects. One is reflections of thought. The second is reflection of non-thought. The third is the totality of all phenomena. The fourth is practical accomplishment. How many of these four are objects of focus in tranquility and how many are objects of focus in observation. How many are objects of focus in both tranquility and observation?"

 The Buddha replied, "One, which is without conceptual images, is the object of focus in tranquility. One, which has conceptual images, is the object of focus in observation. Two, the totality of phenomena and the accomplishment of tasks, are objects of focus in both tranquility and observation."

 Maitreya asked, "How can enlightening beings seek tranquility and perfect observation based on these four kinds of objects?"

 The Buddha said, "Enlightening beings listen carefully to the Teachings I have devised for them, assimilate them, become familiar with them, reflect on them, and arrive at insight into them. Then, in solitude, they attentively meditate on these principles for careful reflection. Then they attentively meditate on the inner stream of the meditating consciousness. When they practice correctly in this way, they are very calm and stable, giving rise to physical and mental ease. This is called tranquility. This is how enlightening beings can seek tranquility.

 "By attainment of physical and mental ease as a basis, in respect to the images on which the concentration within those useful contemplations focuses intently, they observe mental forms, attain higher understanding, and become detached. Then they are able to correctly discern the knowable meanings of the images of concentration, to discern them to the fullest possible extent, to thoroughly ponder and investigate them. Involving recognition, appreciation, precise awareness, vision, and contemplation, this is called observation. This is how enlightening beings can perfect observation."

 Maitreya went on, "If enlightening beings focus on the mind as object and inwardly meditate on the mind, but have not yet attained physical and mental ease, what should their exercise of attention be called?"

 The Buddha said, "This is not the attention of tranquility. It is attention involved in application to tranquility."

 Maitreya asked, "If enlightening beings have not yet attained physical and mental ease, what about the attentive meditation on the images focused on in concentration on the principles being contemplated – what should this attention be called?"

 The Buddha said, "It is not the attention of observation. It is attention involved in application to observation."

 Maitreya also asked the Buddha, "Should the path of tranquility and the path of observation be said to be different, or to have no difference?"

 The Buddha replied, "They should be said to be neither different nor not different. Why are they not different? Because the object of concentration in observation is mind. Why are they not without difference? Because differentiated images are not the focus of tranquillity."

 Maitreya asked, "Should the images on which one concentrates in observation be said to be different from the mind or not different?"

 The Buddha answered, "They should be said to be no different, because those images are only consciousness. I say that the objects of consciousness are only manifestations of consciousness."

 Maitreya asked, "If the images on which one concentrates are none other than the mind, how does the mind see the mind?"

 The Buddha replied, "Herein there is nothing at all seeing anything at all. When this mind is aroused in this way, then there are such images appearing. It is like seeing something by means of a clean mirror with the object before it, thinking one is seeing an image, and thinking there is a separate image apart from the object. In the same way, when mind is aroused, it seems as if different images focused on in concentration are appearing."

 Maitreya asked, "If people naturally dwell on mental images such as form, are these too no different from mind?"

 The Buddha answered, "They are also no different; but because of faulty awareness of these images, ignorant people do not realize they are only consciousness, and so they misunderstand them."

 Maitreya inquired, "What is to be called sole practice of observation?"

 The Buddha said, "If one continually focuses attention on meditation on mental appearances."

 Maitreya asked, "What is to be called sole practice of tranquillity?"

 The Buddha answered, "If one continually focuses attention on meditation on the uninterrupted mind."

 Maitreya asked, "What is to be called combined operation of tranquillity and observation?"

 The Buddha replied, "If one correctly meditates on one-pointedness of mind."

 Maitreya inquired, "What are mental appearances?"

 The Buddha said, "This means the images with discrimination that are objects of concentration in observation."

 Maitreya asked, "What is the uninterrupted mind?"

 The Buddha answered, "It is the mind that focuses on those images, itself the focus of tranquility."

 Maitreya asked, "What is one-pointedness of mind?"

 The Buddha replied, "It means realizing that images concentrated on are only consciousness; or, realizing this, to meditate on suchness."

 Maitreya inquired further of the Buddha, "How many kinds of Observations are there?"

 The Buddha answered, "In general, there are three: observation of appearances, investigative observation, and contemplative observation.

 "Observation of appearances means observation purely meditating on the images with discrimination on which concentration is focused.

 "Investigative observation means observation attentively meditating by means of intelligence in order to fully understand all that is not yet understood.

 "Contemplative observation means observation attentively meditating by means of intelligence to truly realize all that is understood and to attain ultimate liberation."

 Maitreya also asked the Buddha, "How many kinds of tranquility are there?"

 The Buddha replied, "There are also three, corresponding to the uninterrupted mind in the observation.

 "Then again, there are also eight, one in each stage from The first meditation up to the state of neither perception nor non-perception.

 "There is one kind of tranquility and there are also four because there is one kind of tranquility in each of the four immeasurables: immeasurable kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity."

 Maitreya also asked, "You say that there are tranquility and observations that are in accord with the teaching and there are tranquility and observation that are not in accord with the Teaching. To what do these expressions refer?"

 The Buddha said, "If enlightening beings attain tranquility and observation in terms of the meaning of the teachings they have previously received and pondered, that is called tranquility and observation in accord with the Teaching.

 "If enlightening beings do not await teachings to be received and pondered, but just rely on the instructions of others and attain tranquility and observation in terms of their meaning such as, for example, contemplating decay and putrefaction, or the inconstancy of all conditioned things, or the painfulness of all conditioned things, or the selflessness of all phenomena, or nirvana as ultimate quiescence such tranquility and observation is said to be not in accord with the Teaching.

 "Because they attain tranquility and observation based on the Teaching, I define enlightening beings that practice in accord with the Teaching as being of keen faculties. Because they do not attain tranquility and observation in accord with the Teaching, I define enlightening beings who practice according to faith as being of dull faculties."

 Maitreya also asked the Buddha, "You speak of tranquility and observation focused on different principles and tranquility and observation focused on all principles as a whole. What is the meaning of this?"

 The Buddha said, "If enlightening beings focus on the principles of particular scriptures and cultivate tranquility and observation based on the teachings they receive and contemplate this is called tranquility and observation focused on different principles.

 "If they focus on the principles of all the scriptures, gather them into one whole, and attentively contemplate all these principles, approaching true suchness, directed toward true suchness, entering into true suchness, approaching enlightenment, approaching nirvana, approaching transformation of the mental basis, aiming for these and entering into these, reflecting that all these principles bespeak countless good practices, in this way cultivating tranquility and observation, this is called tranquility and observation focused on all principles as a whole."

 Maitreya inquired, "The Buddha speaks of holistic tranquility and observation with a small focus, with a great focus, and with an infinite focus. To what do these terms refer?"

 The Buddha said, "If enlightening beings focus their attention on the doctrines of a particular scripture or treatise as one whole and meditate on them equally, that is holistic tranquility and observation with a small focus.

 "If they focus their attention on the principles of the scriptures they have received to contemplate as one whole and meditate on them equally, not focusing on them separately, this is tranquility and observation with a great focus.

 "If they focus their attention on the infinite teachings of the Buddha, the infinite statements of truth, the infinite awareness of ultimate wisdom, making them into one whole and meditating on them equally, not just on what they have received and think about, this is called tranquility and observation with infinite focus."

 Maitreya inquired, "What is attainment of tranquility and observation focused on the totality of the teachings?"

 The Buddha replied, "It is called attainment on five conditions.

 "First is that the basis of all crude attachments is melted down from moment to moment in meditation.

 "Second is that one becomes detached from miscellaneous thoughts and gets pleasure from spiritual enjoyment.

 "Third is that one understands the measureless spiritual light of universal non-differentiation.

 "Fourth is that pure discrimination and nondiscrimination appropriate to fulfillment of what is to be done are constantly present.

 "Fifth is that one embraces the bases of higher refinement in order to fulfill the spiritual body."

 

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