With trusting in our eternal growth as the key to transformation and transcendence we come to perceive or understand as fact or truth; to apprehend clearly and with certainty our deeper knowing, even when it has not emerged to the top level of our consciousness. It is in knowing who we have always been and are yet to become that defines our eternal presence with goals we may yet be unaware of. As we refrain from anger and self-absorption, that can cloud both our virtue and vision.
Moving to places that inner chi and breath can take us with mindfulness defining our presence.
As we are reminded of impermanence and illusion found in the mundane world. We are to be viewed as engaging in truth with meditation expanding that truth and our conduct as expressing that truth.
The principles of growth and change found in the Tao provide satisfying conditions that remind us of the journey we are here to resume and continue. For myself, it becomes the ultimate strength of the marriage between Buddhism and Taoism. With sustaining merit found bringing Confucius along for the ride reminding us of what’s found with the eternal underpinnings that steadies and keeps us grounded in the present.
Simply finding the vehicle that propels, or takes us there, as we strive to bring others to liberation as well. While coming to know the principles of merit the essence of how and why we continue. Only our lack of forbearance – patient self-control; restraint and tolerance seeming to keep us from advancing. Moving forward we become one with conditions the prevail rather than resisting them, while not resigning ourselves to conditions that are not satisfying. It is as if we are here to find solace that gives comfort or consolation and the right starting point with ambitions that match our continuing journey. Endeavoring to find contentment in what makes us content.
Our lives appear as stages that meld and yield wisdom from the past upon which the next stage is built and the foundation, we each build upon. The visible symbol of our realization that who we are represents living in mindfulness; instead of merely a life lived. To see into the divine heart of others and their true nature. Regardless of what people say, it is right and wrong. Understanding the contradictions keeping us from reality and exploring the meaning of there being more to our purpose than experiencing freedom. Just as our spirit craves longevity, diversity, and nature that supports beneficial growth that takes us and others there as well.
That we are to cease resisting and struggling that define our needless suffering and accept our innate divinity and abundance of resources the universe provides and envelop them as our own presence. What the sage, saint, and shaman have long relayed as our eventual path, or way. Acknowledging our mentors as we go and that there can be no separation because we are all one.
As stated earlier we begin with our conduct as an expression of our motivation. This idea has been the thread of the King of Meditation Sutra we have been following. What is the circle of life, but what moves us beyond where we now sit that further defines our presence?
Mahayana Buddhism as illustrated by The King of Meditation Sutra, Lao Tzu, and others continues below in Chapter Eight, representative of the continuing eternal journey we all take together. The chapter is divided as with previous chapters into 8A and 8B. Chapter 8B that follows includes numbers 16 through 30. Numbers 1 through 15 preceding this here on my website.
In the footsteps of Bodhisattvas – Buddhist teachings on the essence of Meditation. Chapter 8 continued: Sixteen through thirty / Bringing others to liberation.
- This understanding is what defines the ultimate bodhisattvas vow and that which is useful for bringing others to liberation. To teach only what takes others beyond affliction in accordance with their own unique karma and capacity. As you teach what brought you to your own realization.
- One normally begins with looking back at the Four Noble Truths and contemplating what it is that brings us here. They explain the basic orientation of Buddhism. They are the truths understood by those who have attained enlightenment or nirvana. The four truths are dukkha (the truth of suffering); the arising of dukkha (the causes of suffering); the stopping of dukkha (the end of suffering); and the path leading to the stopping of dukkha (the path to freedom from suffering). Dukka is an innate characteristic of existence in the realm of samsara. The final truth, (the path to freedom from suffering), is often associated to what is called the Noble Eightfold Path and is the path leading to renouncement and cessation of dukkha.
- Those who know of this refinement and practice, know that it involves cultivating innate nature and life-destiny so that one may fully penetrate principle and pervade the mysterious, what is the unknown, with the Three Teachings referred to as the awakening to the Tao. The Three Teachings refer to Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. (page 196 of The Way of Complete Perfection).
- It is moving beyond the source of affliction that defines if we are truly ready to follow the Buddha. When we can declare victory over doubt, afflictions, incorrect views, and concepts so that we can understand the true meaning of patience.
- Meditation is not only how we sit, but continuous, and how we bring samadhi to our lives. Chapter 7 of the King of Meditation Sutra conveys the importance of being free of doubt and having confidence in the Dharma as being the first type of patience. Chapter 7 of the Sutra also relays that with continuous meditation any agitation vanishes and cannot disturb us as the second level of patience.
- This leads us to what is known as “calm-abiding” practice helping us to become more stable aiding in watching the weaknesses of others who could use the strength of samadhi in their own lives. Helping us to visualize seeing beyond the mind, to the place where all hope has almost vanished and all expectation ceases. Living in this liberation freedom becomes us as we become the benchmark for others to follow. With this our essence our virtue and the Tao becomes us and all things.
I like to think of the symbol of the ancient dragon that serves to connect all things under and with heaven. Man, simply one of the ten thousand things. To a consciousness connected with all things in the cosmos, or universe, with none more important than the other – nature always having the final say. Our own divine nature having responsibility to and for it all as the ultimate protector. All living and dying in nature’s sway. The ancient shaman and sage following a course of events through eternity that we continue to this day.
- It becomes how we move as a mediator for the benefit of others. This highlights for many the difficulty in embracing Buddhism. How is it we are to define moving ourselves to the point where hope vanishes, and expectations cease? Where whatever we see appears to be transparent. It is like being in the boat or raft crossing the river. Do we continue to the unknown shore unsure of what lies ahead, or return to the shore of what we know and take for granted? Even with observing The Parable of the Raft that is one of the most famous parables taught by the Buddha. He compared his own teachings to a raft that could be used to cross the river but should be discarded when one made it safely to the other shore. We are to proceed with what we have learned through our own insight and study.
- This is what following in the bodhisattva’s footsteps means. We are to gain wisdom as we cross over so that we land safely on the new shore prepared to take the next step with the goal of furthering our own enlightenment as we guide others as well. We take steps learning the terrain, showing others how to get to a certain point that they can then continue themselves as we give them what they need now. Then move forward again in a continuous cycle. This calm biding practice, often referred to as shamatha, is used to keep us focused.
- Attainment of shamatha gives us confidence and strength granting us the ability to bring other sentient beings onto the path. It brings insight to our path, steadiness, and most important, it moves us to understand that the mind is no longer a thing to be influenced – as we move to wisdom and to ultimate transparency. To the place of having the clarity of a mountain-like mind.
- Abiding with transparency with others present, it is often difficult to move a person beyond their comprehension with only words. Our focus becomes how our actions move them with what they need at that moment. It is through our patience we learn to act and speak with clarity, intention, and insight. The same Chapter 7 of the Sutra mentioned above says that we must always act with “a mountainlike mind”. These are the qualities of the third level of patience.
- Speaking with a “mountainlike mind” one need looks no further than the sage. The sage acts to benefit all under heaven and with virtue found on earth. In Taoism, when we refer to the above it is often as the Tao in the Tao Te Ching. Verse 64 is relayed in the teachings of the sage as Ho Shang Kung who lived in 100AD provides what is called the “first evidence for Taoist meditation” and “proposed concentrative focus on the breath for harmonization with the Tao.”
Continuing… we are to contemplate the context adding from Kung, “Others seek the ornamental. The sage seeks the simple. Others seek form. The sage seeks virtue. Others seek facts and skills. The sage studies what is natural. Others study how to govern the world. The sage studies how to govern himself and how to uphold the truth of the Way.” (page 129 of Lao Tzu’s Taoteching translated by Red Pine with selected commentaries of the past two thousand years)
- Over time the direction of our lives takes on a life of its own. Doors open and close that move us to our highest endeavor when we stop pushing things in the mundane world letting the flow of the universe just take us there. Finding and following the attributes we already possess is the key to our awakening.
Living in meditation and our essential mindfulness or capturing this flow and attuning our nature with this – is our life’s ultimate endeavor. What we consider wealth has no meaning until we find our purpose. When we do so, the universe is here to help guide our way. The great vehicle identified in the King of Meditation Sutra outlined here is simply a guide to help open the door.
- It is how we act with the coming and going of creative resources that reflects our mind. Buddhism is not against comfort but is against anything other than Dharma (the universal sustenance of all things) that can create lasting satisfaction. It is impermanence and patience that propel us away from delusion to the clarity of wisdom that follows and the essence of reality.
- Chapter 7 of the Sutra conveys that what is good for the Buddha is good for the bodhisattvas as well. Their methods and conduct are all practiced by them. This equates as the third level of patience. What is important is the sincerity of our efforts. As if following the ultimate strand of our DNA that connects our essence and ultimate nature to universal law of cause and effect and our own eternal knowing… that which we have always known.
It is here that research, study, and learning of the path and the travails of those over the centuries contribute to both our practice and especially the fullness of our lives. Not only the narrative of the life of the Buddha, and Lao and Chuang Tzu, but the history of those who have followed in Tibet, China, and elsewhere. It is our story too. At their heart, they were storytellers. We should endeavor to recall and learn from them again. Their stories are the key to our learning patience in finding comfort on the path we are here continue and to follow.
- As we are known by our presence, it is our sincerity that opens the door and asks us to stay. The key to sincerity being do we possess the ability to be a witness to our own behavior. Over time it is the fruit of our patience that allows us to see and go beyond the beyond. What do we carry with us? It is that our view is engaging in truth. That meditation is expanding the truth that exists from within, and our conduct is expressing that truth as we travel in eternity throughout the cosmos. As we learn for ourselves the true meaning of Zen.
Chapter 9 is next following… The way of living in Zen, mindfulness, and joyful purpose as we awaken.