Excerpt from “The Intermediate Stages of Meditation by Acharya Kamalashila”
Mahayana Sutra, causes and conditions, omniscience
Buddha’s own words, “ the transcendental wisdom (jnana) of omniscience has its root in compassion, and arises from a cause — the altruistic thought, the awakening mind of bodhicitta and the perfection of skillful means (upaya).”
If Buddhisattva properly holds to one dharma and learns it perfectly, he has all Buddha qualities in the palm of his hand. That one dharma is compassion (Mahakaruna).
Developing equanimity, the root of loving kindness is by eliminating attachment and hatred. After the mind developed equanimity toward all sentient beings, meditate on loving kindness. Then meditate on compassion.
Meditate on compassion at all times focusing all sentient beings and wishing they all be free from suffering.
Having familiarized yourself with compassion as the basis, meditate on the awakening mind of bodhicitta.
Bodhicitta is of two types: conventional and ultimate
- Conventional: cultivation of initial thought that aspire to attain perfect buddhahood in order to benefit all wandering sentient beings
- After generating conventional awakening mind of boddhicitta, then cultivate ultimate awakening mind. achieved through constant and respectful familiarity with the yoga of a) calm abiding meditation(shamata) [single pointed] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6PaWMDYMSc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkhvbXoQ0ig and b) special insight(vipasana) over long period of time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixu4Kd5R1DI&t=77s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdlP5BCiwz0
To attain the thoroughly purified transcendent wisdom by eliminating all obscurations should meditate on wisdom while remaining in calm abiding.
Moon Lamp Sutra says, “By the force of calm abiding meditation, the mind will become unwavering and with special insight (vipasana meditation) it will become like a mountain”
The prerequisite necessary for the development of calm abiding meditation are:
to live in a conducive environment, to limit your desires and practice contentment, to not involved in too many activities; to maintain pure moral ethics; to fully eliminate attachments and all other kinds of conceptual thoughts.
Prerequisite of special insight are:
to rely on holy persons; to seriously seek extensive instruction and to contemplate properly.
Yogis should at all times avoid fish, meat.
Manifest great compassion, the thought wishing to liberate all sentient beings and pay homage to all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in ten directions by touching limb to the ground. Place image of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in front or some other place. Make as many offerings and praises as possible and confess all misdeeds and rejoice merit of all other beings.
Then sit on lotus posture of Vairochana, or half lotus posture. Eyes should not be too widely opened of closed. Let them focus on tip of nose. Turn attention inward. Tongue touching the upper plate. Breathe gently and softly without causing nose. Inhale and exhale naturally.
The Cloud of Jewels Sutra reads, “Calm abiding meditation is a single pointed mind; special insight focuses that mind on specific analysis of the ultimate”
Practice patience and take delight in it. With proper analysis, observe and understand it. This is known as special insight.
It leads to suchness with utmost clarity.
What is suchness (tattva; tathata)?
It is the nature of all phenomena that they are ultimately empty of the self of persons and the self of phenomena.
Phenomena are included under five aggregates, twelve source of perception and eighteen elements.
Without examining the identity of things with wisdom, it is not possible to engage in non-conceptual meditation.
Non-abiding concentration practitioner is then called meditator of supreme wisdom because by specifically examining the identity of all things with wisdom he has “perceived nothing” — stated in Space Treasure Sutra and Jewels in the Crown Sutra.
Bodhisattva should also cultivate generosity and other skillful means not only emptiness.
The bodhisattva path consists of wisdom and skillful means and therefore attain non-abiding nirvana. Because of power of wisdom they do not fall ino cyclic existence and due to power of skillful means they do not fall into nirvana.