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15155Re: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Three 1/2 years.......nothing!

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  • Marc Moss
    Dec 14, 2006
      "If you practice these instructions correctly, then you will gain the razor-sharp sword of wisdom, a form of one pointed concentration where quietude and special insight (shamtha and vipassyana) are married together."
      The following is a list of the scenes found in the middle of the blockprint chart that was completed in the Tibetan Fire-Sheep year in Bene Dremo Jong. It has been stored at the Tarndu Ling Temple of Baksa monastery. Here is a link for a copy of the chart:
      Below is the translation of the instructions that appear in Tibetan on the sides of the chart:
      1) Setting the Mind on the object (an instruction given to you by your teacher
      2)Bringing the mind back to the object
      4)The six bends in the road represent the six powers. The first represents the power of learning the instructions. Based on this, one achieves the first mental state.
      5)The elephant represents your mind, and his black color symbolizes dullness.
      6)The monkey stands for distraction, and his black color represents agitation
      7)The presence of the flames, and their relative size, from this point up to the seventh mental state represent the relative amount of effort needed to bring your mind back to the object, and the degree of watchfullness needed.
      8)The power of contemplating the instructions, You use this to reach the second mental state.
      9)Keeping the mind on the object with brief continuity
      10)The gradual increase in the white patch from this point on, starting with the elephant's head, represent a gradual increase in the clarity and fixation of the mind.
      11)This symbol stands for the five objects of the senses, which themselvs represent the various objects that agitation focuses upon
      12)the power of bringing the mind back to the object. This allows you to attain the third and fourth mental states
      13)Keeping the mind on the object, with patches where you lose the object
      14)Subtle dullness. From this point on, you are able to recognize the distinction between obvious and subtle dullness, and other such details
      15) The monkey looking back represents the ability both to tell when your mind is wandering, and to re-focus it upon the object of meditation
      16) Maintaining the mind tightly on the object
      17) The power of watchfulness. This allows you to reach the fifth and sixth mental states
      18)Agitation is the first of the two that loses its power to appear in your mind
      19) When you are trying to develop quietude, even allowing you mind to be distracted to a virtuous object becomes an obstacle, and you must seek to stop it. When you are doing other practices though you do not have to stop it. And so we see the monkey reaching for the fruit of a second activity
      20) Watchfulness will not let the mind get distracted; and uplifting your heart leads you to a state of one-pointed concentration
      21) Controlling the mind
      22) Quieting the mind
      23) The power of effort. This allows you to reach the seventh and the eighth mental states
      24) Completely Quieting the mind. At this point it is difficult for even subtle forms of dullness and agitation to occur. Even if they do come, you are able to eliminate them immediately with a minimum of effort
      25) Here the fact taht the elephant has lost all the black, and left behind the monkey as well, represents your ability to engage in one-pointed concentration in an uninterrupted stream: if you apply just a little effort to bring your mind to the object and maintain watchfulness, then dullness, agitation, and distraction can no longer interrupt your meditation.
      26) Attaining single-pointedness
      27)The power of complete habituation, which enables you to reach the ninth mental state
      28) Reaching deep meditation
      29) Achieving quietude (shamata)
      30) Physical meditative pleasure
      31) Mental meditative pleasure
      32) Special insight (vipashyana) and quietude (shamata) marry together, focussing on emptiness, and allow you to cut the root of this suffering life
      33) One goes on to seek the correct view of reality, with a great ability to bring the mind to the object, and to maintain watchfulness
      These instructions that appear on the chart were developed from the words of the Buddha himself. He gave the teaching on the five mental states as follows:
      Place the mind on an object;
      place the mind on the object with some continuity;
      place the mind on the object and patch the gaps;
      place themind on the object closely;
      control the mind;
      pacify the mind;
      pacify the mind totally;
      make the mind single-pointed;
      and achieve equilibrium
      These are nine states of mind in meditation. As you can see, all of the instructions given by Lord Buddha here indicate the union of the mind with AN object. Meditating without an object would be like archery without a target...who knows where the arrow is going to go. I suggest printing these nine statements on index cards and testing yourself in your next meditation session to see which mental state you can reach.
      Sonam Tsering

      As long as space remains, as long as living beings remain, until then - may I too remain to dispel the sufferings of the world. - Master Shantideva

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