2 3. Silent without illumination is samatha meditation. This type of meditation is not with a free mind but with a conditioned mind.The 5 mental hindrances are all suppressed through energy field. They are mainly Jhana and one pointedness concentration type of practices. The mind is like blank because there
Outline short notes for Sunday class dated 12th May 2019
Brother Teoh’s transcript book: Cultivating the Bodhisattva Way, pages 78-97
- The 4 great/basic vows of the Bodhisattvas are very important as they will help to take us through the 5 stages of Bodhi mind developments cumulating to Buddhahood.
Stage 1: Aspire to plant the seed of Bodhi deep into your nature’s consciousness to arise the Bodhi mind.
To arise the Bodhi mind to walk the Bodhisattva way sincerely, with faith and perseverance via taking its 4 basic vows. These will set the conditions for us to be awakened. As our vows are being nurtured, the Bodhi mind becomes active even during era where there is no Buddha Sasana.
Stage 2: Bodhi mind that subdues all vexation or suffering.
Able to develop the wisdom not to be deluded by the phenomenalworld so that one will not grasp, cling or hold on to them. That is how one is able to renounce the world, all worldly things which are unreal, condition arising and dependent originating. That is the reason why when we take this vow to endure and sever all vexations and suffering, we are cultivating renunciation.
Stage 3: Bodhi mind that illuminates the true nature or Buddha nature as enlightenment.
Vow to penetrate and understand all Dharma to realize the perfection of all wisdom leading to one’s ability to illuminate one’s true natureuntil it becomes so clear which means you are able to connect to the gateway to your nature. You are able to transform and illuminate that nature within. This third stage will make you a true Bodhisattva. This third stage is very powerful because after this stage, you will never regress.
Stage 4: Bodhi mind that renounces samsara.
Time or duration in samsara is not an issue anymore as by then we would have understood the profound diamond sutra cultivation of no thought, no mark and no dwelling. Cultivation and Perfection becomes easy at this stage onwards.
Stage 5: Bodhi mind that realizes the consummate of Sammasam Buddhahood.
Perfection of all the 10 Perfections. This stage is not difficult becauseas you cultivate the first four stages you would have started perfecting many of the 10 perfections especially Love, Renunciation, Sila, Panna, Viriya, Dana, Khanti, Adhitthana and Sacca.
- Master Sheng Yen taught silent illumination (awareness) meditation which is similar to Brother Teoh’s teaching of the silent mind.
- Silent without illumination is samatha meditation. This type of meditation is not with a free mind but with a conditioned mind. The 5 mental hindrances are all suppressed through energy field. They are mainly Jhana and one pointedness concentration type of practices. The mind is like blank because there is hardly any awareness within. You are like a Buddha statue and this type of mind cannot develop wisdom.
- Brother Teoh’s silent mind with clear awareness within is a wisdom based meditation via a free mind, where one’s mind is relax, aware and without thought naturally borne of understanding/wisdom. The mind is not in concentration and has the ability to realize the true mind.
- The mind needs the 5 spiritual faculties to root out the 5 mental hindrances to be in the meditative state. All methods and techniques are only initial skilful means to train the mind to have sati. They are not the meditation.
- Renunciation to the Mahayana tradition, means to renounce all thingsthat are not real, conditions arising and dependent originating. When we vow to sever all vexations and all suffering, we are cultivatingrenunciation. However, the Theravada tradition mainly teaches physical renunciation, i.e. to be a monk.
- We need to cultivate all the 10 steps listed in the Avijja Sutta’s enlightenment cycle. Most of us kalyanamittas already have the first 3 steps of having true dharma friends, able to listen to the true Dharma& have faith in the Triple Gem. Now, we need to work on the 4th and 5th steps, (i.e. 4th Step: cultivating the initial wisdom (yoniso manasikara) while attending to step 2 and 5th step: Cultivating the daily mindfulness leading to sati sampajanna, the real meditation). These are the two most difficult steps. Step 4 is relatively easier.
- Yoniso manasikara is cultivating the initial wisdom via the 1st and 2ndturnings of the Four Noble Truth’s wisdom to straighten our views after listening to the Dharma to weaken avijja (ignorance). The 1st turning wisdom is suttamaya panna (wisdom borne of hearing the Dharma) and the 2nd turning wisdom is cintamaya panna (Wisdom borne of reflection, inquiry, contemplation and Investigation to put to test all Dharma). This is also the advice from his teacher Phra Ajahn Yantra to Brother Teoh – ‘we choose contemplate all dharma until very, very clear’.
- With yoniso manasikara in place, there will be less thinking and more moments of mindfulness leading to the 5th step cultivationof Mindfulness and clear comprehension (Sati Sampajanna) which is the real meditation. At this step, apply the 4 Right Efforts and the 5 Ways to overcome unwholesome thoughts as taught by the Buddha to progress. Especially the 3rd and 4th ways which are the meditative ways. Use the 3rd way (silent the mind) and the 4th way (trace the origination factors of the negative thought or mind state and then reverse it retrospectively) to cultivate.
- After step 7 (the 3 ways of right conducts), one would have realize at least Sotapanaship (1st stage of sainthood) already where the first 3 fetters of sakayaditthi, rites and rituals and doubt in the Triple Gems have been severed. After finishing step 7 one might also realize sakadagamiship (2nd stage of sainthood) where the 4th and 5th fetters of sensual desire and ill-will have been attenuated.
- At step 8 (cultivating the 4 Foundation of Mindfulness) onwards, one may realize at least Anagamiship (3rd stage of sainthood).
- For those who understand, broteoh.com website is truly a dharma Gem. All the Dharma there are shared for free. So do make use of it.Develop the understanding of it then put them into practice. If you do not put them into practice, Dharma will remains as knowledge and it will not benefit you.
(Above outline short notes draft is by Sister Mun Yuen).
Bye! and with metta always,