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The Means of Engaging in the Meditation

From Tibetan Buddhist Encyclopedia
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It is far more important to gain a clear understanding of the meditation than to go into the intricate details of the specific implements, what they mean, as well as the many details of the palace and the mandala of Kalacakra. If one is able to meditate on the full form of Kalacakra with the four faces and

the 24 arms, this is fine. However, it is very difficult. If, on the other hand, one finds this practice beyond one's [[[Wikipedia:present|present]]] ability, then, for the time being, one should meditate on oneself as Kalacakra in his simple form with one face and two arms.

There are two aspects of the meditation ('divine pride* and 'clear appearance9) directed toward eradicating ordinary conceptual grasping and ordinary appearance.


1. Divine Pride

The first point to emphasize in the meditation is cultivating the *divine pride* (Tib. lha'i.nga.rgyal), the pride of identifying with the Buddha Kalacakra that one will become. It would be a mistake


to think, “I am a Buddha," while one is not a Buddha; however, the divine pride in this practice is based on the fact that one will eventually attain full enlightenment in the appearance of Kalacak-ra. This is called 'taking the fruit and applying it to the path/ that is, taking up the fruit of one's spiritual path, which is oneself as a fully enlightened being, and applying it to the present point in one's own spiritual path. Hence, one is identifying with the Buddha one will become and applying this in the present. Therefore, first of all, cultivate the pride and keep this strong and stable in the mind.


2. Clear Appearance

When there is some sense of stabilization, you can further develop the *clear appearance/ involving the visualization in some detail, going through the dark and white parts of the eye, and then down through the various parts of the deity. But first and above all, seek stability. Furthermore, at the outset of the meditation, when one is just beginning and one's capacity is not very great, it would be best to just focus upon the front black face only・ If even the whole front face is a bit too much, on the basis of having already cultivated divine pride, it would be better to focus on just the one wisdom eye.


3. Aspects of the Practice Leading to the Attainment of Clear Stillness

As one engages in the meditation, one must seek mental stability and beware of and eradicate what are called the 'five faults/ One accomplishes this by means of the 'eight remedies' which are aspects of the practice leading to the attainment of 'clear stillness' (Skt. ^amatha; Tib. zhi.gnas). Such an accomplishment in this Kalacakra practice would lead to the attainment of the gross and subtle stages of the stage of generation. It is by this means on the tantric path that one attains clear stillness・ Maitreya, in his text The Investigation of the Center and the Extremes (Skt. Madhydntavibhdga; Tib. dbus.dang-・mtha\mam.par. 'byed.pa), taught these five faults and eight remedies, which are equally applicable whether one is following a sutra or a tantra path.


a. The Five Faults

1) The first of the five faults one encounters in the practice of meditation is called 'laziness' (Tib. le.Io). In the practice of Kalacakra, it is simply the lack of interest or desire to meditate; more specifically, to generate oneself as Kalacakra. This type of laziness is the first fault.

2) The second fault is literally called ^forgetting the quintessential teaching9 (Tib. gdams.ngag.brjed.pa). It does not refer to forgetting teachings that one has heard or received from the lama, but rather to forgetting the object of the meditation while trying to meditate upon oneself as Kalacakra. One's mind no longer stays involved with the image or the visualization of oneself as Kalacakra and simply wanders elsewhere. Consequently, it is actually forgetting the object of meditation.

3) The third fault has two aspects called 'sinking' and 4excite- ment/ both of which come under one heading (Tib. bying.rgod). They are the two chief obstacles in the course of meditation which must be eradicated. . 'Sinking' is a very literal translation. There are two types of sinking: gross and subtle.

When the mind is very steadily abiding on the object, but the clarity of the mind is missing, this is *gross sinking.' One does not have to be concerned

about gross sinking until one is rather advanced in the meditation since it only occurs when there is stability. The nature of 'subtle sinking9 is such that, although stability and clarity exist, vivid clarity with extra vitality and strength do not. This happens

because the retention of the mind is a bit too loose, too slack. Subtle sinking occurs when one is quite advanced in meditation. So advanced, in fact, that the scriptures relate how many Tibetan Umas arrived at this point where they were subject to subtle sinking, but failed to see it. Failing in this way,

they thought they had attained some extremely high tantric realization or, perhaps, the state of samadhi on the stage of completion. To sum up [when subtle sinking occurs], although clarity exists, the real vivid clarity of the mind, which needs to be cultivated, does not. This is an extremely subtle obstacle that needs to be recognized [and eliminated] eventually.


Grosser than either of the two types of sinking is 'mental fogginess." This is the cause of sinking and is much more obvious. We can experience mental fogginess now as it simply involves a heaviness of both the body and the mind.


For the time being, when one is just beginning in this type of meditation, one really does not need to worry about sinking, and especially about subtle sinking. The reason for this is that sinking only occurs when there is a strong mental stability, that is, when the mind really abides with the object


Since, in the early stages of the meditation, the mind is so rambunctious and has so much agitation, this fault will not arise・ Progressing toward the attainment of clear stillness, one passes through nine mental states. It is not until one has gained the fifth state that subtle sinking occurs・ Even

gross sinking will only occur around the fourth of these mental states. Before then, there is so much agitation that subtle sinking is simply not a matter of concern.


The second of the two major obstacles in the course of meditation is what is technically called ^excitement.* Again, there are two types of excitement: gross and subtle

Gross excitement' occurs when the mind is agitated or distracted and, consequently, simply loses the object・ In other words, it veers off the object and

goes elsewhere, so that the object is altogether lost. It is relatively easy to recognize

Subtle excitement' occurs when retention of the object exists simultaneously with an undercurrent of rambling thoughts・ Is the object there? Yes. Is the mind focused on the object? Yes. However, some kind of rambling thoughts are also occurring, for example, tkI would like to go off on a drive," or **When the meditation is finished, I have to do that," and so on. This subtle agitation/cxcitement is rambling thought beneath the surface of the meditation. like water flowing beneath the ice on a river.


Sinking and excitement must be eradicated. If they are not dispelled, it is neither possible to achieve a really fine samadhi nor to arrive at the culmination of the stage of generation・ As already mentioned, only through the culmination of the stage of generation in this tantric practice does one attain clear stillness・ In brief, clear stillness is only reached on this high level and it cannot be attained without dispelling sinking and excitement.


4) The fourth fault is 4non-application' (Tib. Mu.mi.byed). It occurs in a situation when either sinking or excitement arises and there is a need to apply the appropriate remedies to dispel these faults, but one neglects and fails to do so. Thus, one does not apply the necessary remedies. This non-application is the fourth fault.

5) The fifth fault is called 'application9 (Tib. *du.byed). This fault occurs in a situation in which one has already recognized sinking and excitement, has already applied the necessary remedies, has already dispelled these faults such that the mind is now free of them, and yet continues to

apply the specific antidotes for sinking and excitement. In other words, once one is free from these faults, one should no longer apply the specific remedies for eliminating them. If one does so at such an inappropriate time, this then damages one's mental stability・ Tliis fault would be that of application.


One should clearly ascertain and keep these well in mind because such faults as these arise in meditation and one needs to be able to recognize them when they occur.


b. The Eight Remedial Applications

The first four remedial applications are specific antidotes for dispelling the first of the five faults, laziness.


1) The first of the remedial applications is ’faith' (Tib. dad.pa). One can speak here of faith in samadhi, the development of concentration or, more specifically related to this practice, faith in the Kalacakra stage of generation. Such faith is generated by recognizing and having confidence in the tremendous benefits one gains through cultivating the stage of generation

2) The second is 'yearning' (Tib. 'dun.pa), which actually involves an aspiration or striving toward the object of the faith [in the Kalacakra stage of generation].

3) The third remedial application is ^enthusiasm' (Tib. brtson. ’grus).


4) The fourth is called 'suppleness* (Tib. shin.sbyangs). In fact, among these four, the direct antidote for laziness is suppleness. However, the three preceding aspects of faith, yearning and enthusiasm are the mental faculties that give rise to suppleness, which then acts as a direct antidote to dispel laziness. The word 'suppleness' has a very specific meaning here and we need to differentiate between physical and mental suppleness.


• When 'physical suppleness9 arises, one actually feels a physical ease, a physical lightness and a physical readiness similar to a sense of physical well-being. The body is fit for action, fit to be used as one chooses. It is a fit tool.


• When 'mental suppleness* arises, the clarity of the mind, the clarity of the visualization becomes very strong・ One's mind is filled with a great sense of mental well-being and gladness, a sense of mental well-being and gladness, a sense of mental and physical buoyancy (sometimes shin.sbyang is translated as 'buoyancy'). Whether one wants to engage in meditation or recite prayers, whatever one might wish fo do, the mind is there, ready for action. This quality of suppleness is attained through the cultivation of samadhi or concentration


5) 'Mindfulness (Tib. dran.pa) is the mental factor or capacity of the mind to retain the object or the qualities with which the mind has become accustomed. In this case, it is the mental factor that retains the visualization of the face [of the Kalacakra deity]. That is its function or duty. It is the direct antidote for what has been called ^forgetting the quintessential teachings/ forgetting the object of meditation. This occurs when the

power of mindfulness, involving retention of the object, wanes and the mind wanders away. To draw an analogy, it is comparable to driving down the freeway. You keep your eyes and your mind right on the freeway・ You do not wander off to the left

or to the right because you would increase your chance of a collision. In like fashion, while you are doing this meditation, whether you are focusing on the general body of Kalacakra or on his face or simply on the wisdom eye, keep your mind right on that and do not allow it to veer to the left or to the

right. It is actually a fairly close parallel.When you drive, you also keep an eye out to the right and to the left in order to make sure you will not get cut off by traffic on either side・ Likewise in meditation, you keep your attention focused on the main object, but in the meantime you look to the right and to the left to see whether sinking or excitement are arising・ You keep on guard for them ・

A quote from one text states, "As long as I am not able to focus my mind, even for the time it takes to milk a cow and my mind is flying off in this and that direction without being able to retain mindfulness, it is impossible to progress along the 'grounds' and 'stages' of either the sutra or tantra paths・ Therefore, I will apply myself assiduously to the practice of meditation.* Bless me that I may do so!"

Special emphasis is on this point: "I shall assiduously address myself to this practice." It is not just a matter of relying on the great blessings of the Buddhas・ IT this were the case, we would already be fully enlightened ourselves. Rather, it is half and half. One half ・ the effort we exert from our side; and the other ・ the blessings from the Buddhas.

One meditator in retreat was giving much time to meditation. But, as he was meditating, he would occasionally break his session and tell his servant, fctOh, 1 want this," and in a little while, Get me that." The servant, a bit confused, asked, “What is all this coming from the meditation?" To which the novice meditator replied, have so much time to think while sitting in meditation that I remember al) the things I had forgotten 1 wanted you to do for me!" Mindfulness is considered the crucial factor in meditation ・ if it is really firm and stable, samadhi can be attained quite easily.

6) The sixth of the remedial applications is introspective alertness' (Tib. shes. bzhin)・ Its function is to check up on the mind. It is called 'introspective' because it does not concern itself with the visualization, but with observing the mind, which is visualizing. 4(Is the mind on the

visualization? Is it focused there or is it wandering?" While one part of the mind retains its object through mindfulness, it is the mental factor of introspective alertness which checks up on that mind. One might actually find during the meditation that, sometimes, the mind goes off to town or off driving and so forth. When introspective alertness sees that the mind has wandered off, it brings the mind back in and applies it again to the meditation. •This refers especially to the stabilization of the mind and the cultivation of clear stillness.

In other words, introspective alertness is initially necessary in order to recognize and ascertain the presence of faults. Once it has done so, one is then in a position to apply specific remedies for the faults. And how does this function? While the main force of one's attention is focused upon the object of meditation (here, oneself as Kalacakra), literally 'one corner of the mind/ or one part of the force of the mind, is turned back on the meditating mind itself in order to determine whether the mind is focused on, or veering off the object. Therefore, it is the "quality controf for the meditation, checking

up to see whether or not the mind is meditating properly. If introspective alertness discovers that a fault has arisen in the meditation, then one applies specific remedies to dispel the fault in question. For example, if sinking has arisen, one needs to apply specific remedies that inspire or exalt the mind.


To draw an analogy, in war one needs to reconnoiter in order to discover if the enemy is present or attacking.This would be your spy. The spy is not the main force of your army but is out there, peeking around to see if the enemy has arisen or not. If he checks and sees that the enemy is attacking or is

present, then the spy does not go out and wage war with him; he goes back to headquarters and tells them about it and they do what is necessary. In like fashion, introspective alertness is just one aspect of the mind・ It does not go and try to eliminate the faults, it simply recognizes them. One must then apply specific remedies.


Mindfulness and introspective alertness are two factors that must be cultivated because of their extreme importance. By doing so, one gradually arrives at a greater stability in the meditation. In the beginning, however, there is not much stability. Nevertheless, the Buddhas of the past reached enlightenment

by training their minds in this way. At one time, they too were like ourselves and they did not start out with glorious accomplishments. But, through practice such as this they reached their goal.


7) The next remedial application is that of ’application' which is the antidote for non-application. When sinking or excitement arise, one needs to refrain from non・application and apply the necessary remedies.


Sinking occurs due to the vitality of the mind going too low. As a result of this, one needs to apply remedies to uplift, exalt and inspire the mind in order to give it more energy. This can be done, for example, by contemplating the preciousness of one's own human existence, the great

potential and great fortune of meeting the Buddha's teachings, the opportunity of cultivating bodhicitta and, in various ways, inspiring the mind. When the mind is

uplifted from this kind of low energy level, lifted up to a more usable, appropriate level, then, setting aside the remedy, one goes ahead with the meditation.


Excitement occurs when there is too much energy, too much tension. In this case, one needs to lower it, to subdue it, make it more workable. For example, one would meditate on such topics as impermanence, the sufferings of the lower realms of existence and so forth. It is a fault, in general, to have too

much energy, to be, in a sense, too glad all the time. If one is "blissed out" all the time, has a lot of energy and is always excitedly happy, then this acts as an obstacle to the meditation.


There is the account of the king Suddhodana, whose position was such that he was always very glad and would reflect upon his great fortune ・ Sixty

thousand of this Sakya clan had attained great realization on the Buddha*s path and he was completely blissed out over this fact. In the meantime, he was not gaining any direct realization himself. On one occasion, when the Buddha was giving teachings, many devas and the Four Great Kings were present but,

somehow, King Suddhodana was not admitted. Suddenly he was very downcast and depressed. When the exaltation of his mind diminished, it became ripe to receive teachings and he, too, gained realization.


8) The eighth remedial application is 'non・application.9 In a situation in which sinking and excitement have been dispelled, it would be a fault to apply remedies to dispel that which does not need to be dispelled. Therefore, the antidote is not to apply any remedies or applications, but simply to carry on with the practice of samadhi itself.

Just as in school, one passes successively through different grades, so too does the gradual cultivation of samadhi lead to clear stillness ・ In the context of the tantra and generating oneself as the simple form of Kalacakra, one's first task is to prevent the mind from being dispersed, that is, to

draw it in and focus it upon the object - oneself as the simple form of Kalacakra. This entails the attainment of the first of the nine mental states (Tib. sems.gnas.d-gu) which is called, ^mental placement/


c. The Nine Mental States

1) At the beginning of the meditation, one cultivates the first mental state, 'mental placement* (Tib. sems.' jog.pa)

At this point, the mind has very little stability; one finds the object and then very swiftly loses it. The mind wanders elsewhere・ Thus, it is going out and being drawn in again and

again. When one actually engages in the cultivation of clear stillness, eventually one feels that, as a result of meditation, one has more wandering thoughts than before. It seems that the meditation is increasing mental distraction. When this recognition occurs, one should not regard it as a fault, but rather as a good sign that one now has a greater awareness of what is happening in the mind.

To draw an analogy, one might be outside somewhere and, as long as one is not paying any special attention but is simply sitting there with a wandering mind, daydreaming about this and that, one would not necessarily notice if many cars or people pass back and forth. One would not especially notice, or

even know, whether or not a lot of traffic passed by because one would not be concerned・ But if, one another day on the same spot, one really paid attention to the number of people and cars passing by, one would notice a great deal of traffic・ One might conclude, “There is a lot more traffic today than before,whereas, in fact, there is not. At this time, instead of being oblivious one is being aware.


2) The second of the nine mental states preceding and leading to the attainment of clear stillness is called the Continual placement (Tib. rgyun. du/jog. pa)

Before this attainment, one continues practicing a great deal and, again and again, brings the mind in after it has wandered off. Eventually, sufficient stability does arise in the mind so that the attention will remain uninterruptedly focused on the object for, say, five, six or seven minutes・ When that degree of stability has been attained, one has reached the second mental state called continual placement.


3) The third mental state is called the 'patch-like placement"

(Tib. glan. te. Jog.pa). With the attainment of this third state, one's degree of mental stability is even greater than before such that the mind will remain uninterruptedly focused on the object for, say, 10-15 minutes. It is called "patch-like placement' because, basically, the mind is focused upon the object with a reasonably good degree of stability and yet, occasionally, it will wander olf・ On those occasions, one recognizes this and brings it back・ One is *patching-up, one's samadhi. This is similar to having a tear in one's robe 一 one recognizes it and says, "Oh, there! and just patches it up.


4) The fourth mental state is called 'close placement' (Tib. nye.bar.' jog.pa)

Having attained this fourth state, the mind no longer loses the object of meditation, because the power of mindfulness has come to completion. This is similar to a person growing up. There will be certain physical tasks that can or cannot be performed. However, when this person becomes an adult of 20 years or so, his strength is complete and he is now able to do whatever is necessary. In like fashion, the strength of mindfulness is now complete. One does not lose the object, because the mind is no longer drawn away from it.


5) The fifth mental state is called ’subduing' (Tib. dul.ba.byed-・paj

While one is abiding in the previous mental state of close placement, the mind becomes very inwardly directed and a high degree of stability exists. But, on the basis of that attainment, a very great danger of subtle sinking exists as well. For this reason, one especially needs to cultivate an extremely acute introspective alertness. It has to be extremely acute, because this fault of

subtle sinking is very, very subtle and difficult to recognize. In fact, many contemplatives of the past have mistaken a concentration in which subtle sinking has arisen with proper and extremely fine samadhi. They stunted their practice by failing to recognize the fault of subtle sinking and thought, instead, that they had accomplished their goal.


To draw an analogy, if one is in a household in which the other people in the house are lavishing one with kindness, praise, nice words and so forth while, at the same time, they are robbing one blind, it is very difficult to recognize them because they seem to be one's friends. They are much more difficult to recognize than

people who come pounding on one's door as blatant robbers or bandits. Those, at least, are easy to recognize. In like fashion, subtle sinking can very easily be mistaken for proper meditation, whereas, in fact, it is a fault which must be recognized. It is recognized through an extremely acute introspective alertness.


6) The sixth mental state is called pacification* (Tib. zhi.bar-.byed.pa)

While abiding in the fifth mental state, the subduing, which is, in fact, a very fine degree of samadhi, one is giving a lot of effort or attention to cultivating extremely acute introspective alertness. As a result of this, the energy of the mind increases a great deal. With this increased and perhaps excessive energy of mind, as one goes to the sixth mental state, there is a danger of subtle excitement. To guard against this, one needs to recognize it by means of very active introspective alertness.


7) The seventh mental state is called the *full pacification9 (Tib. mam.par.zhi. bar.byed.pa)

In this state, there is not really much danger of the arisal of either sinking or excitement. They will occasionally arise a little bit and, when they do, they are not difficult to dispel and can be eliminated

by the force of enthusiasm. By and large, they are not there. In the illustration of an elephant following a winding path, depicting the course of mental development towards the attainment of clear stillness, at this stage, the elephant, representing thp mind, has a little tiny bit of blackness on it symbolizing the fact that the mind, at this point, is only slightly subject to sinking and excitement.


Here is a recent example of Geshe Rabkye, who was in the same class with me. In cultivating clear stillness, he had definitely attained the seventh of these nine states. In his meditation for two or three hours at a stretch, he would have impeccable concentration, a very high degree of samadhi. At that

point he died. However, if he had lived, there seems no doubt that he would have proceeded right to the full attainment of clear stillness. Once one has attained the seventh state, to attain the following ones is a matter of relative ease.

all he had was a meditation cushion, a couple of pictures and that was it. Sometimes Geshe Rabkye, who was very good in debate, would come to my place and

talk or debate. Once I asked him what realization had he gained and he replied, "Well, I have not gained any real realization, but I have the feeling no one in the world is happier than I am.M This is an indication that he was truly a spiritual practitioner. His Holiness the Dalai Lama really took a very

special interest and had an especially great affection for Geshe Rabkye. He invited him down from the mountain, where he was meditating, into his own palace to meditate there. It is true that His Holiness the Dalai Lama does take this very special interest, have this special affection for people, be they Tibetans or Westerners, who are devoting themselves very earnestly to spiritual practice.


8) The eight mental state is called tingle-pointed application (Tib. rtse. gchig.tu.byed.pa)

Upon the attainment of the eighth mental state, sinking or excitement no longer arise. By this time, at the beginning of one's sitting session, with just the slightest bit the effort, the mind becomes focused

upon the object (in this case, oneself as Kalacakra). One can then simply continue to abide in the meditation for as long as one likes. For the duration of the meditation, there is no sinking or excitement. This can be likened to a person who falls asleep and is completely out for eight hours, sleeping solidly

the whole time without any effort. Likewise, with just a little bit of effort at the beginning of the sitting, this person can sit for a long time during which sinking and excitement do not arise ・


9) The ninth mental state is 'even-placement (Tib. mnyam.par. •jog.pa)

With the attainment of this state, one is totally accustomed to the practice・ Without any effort at all, one simply enters the meditation, focuses upon the object (oneself as Kalacakra) and abides in it effortlessly. This

is like a person who has recited the Om Mani Padme Padme Huin many, many times. It becomes so effortless that, even if his mind is wandering all over the place, his mouth is saying Om Mani Padme Hum, Om Mani Padme Hikp・・・ Even at this point, however, one has not yet reached the actual state of clear stillness・ This is called *single-pointed concentration

of the realm of desire? One needs to continue in the meditation and, after some time, there arises a very special kind of joy and bliss, so strong that it is almost unbearable. It arises, and then it wanes a little bit. Thereafter, there arises a physical joy due to physical suppleness, and then a joy due to mental suppleness・ It is following this that one actually reaches the attainment of clear stillness, also called the 'access concentration to the first

mental stabilization.9 Once one has attained this state, the mind is an extremely fine instrument for any type of meditation one wants to engage in. The mind will simply be able to focus on that. And that is that!

These are the nine states one gradually passes through, regardless of whether one is practicing the sutra or the tantra path・ The way one progresses

(whether focusing on the face or merely on an eye) is by focusing and maintaining mental stability with good mindfulness for, say, five minutes, gradually extending to ten, then fifteen mintues and, in this way, lengthening the period of stability further and further.

If one truly tackles this type of meditation, it necessitates full use of one's intelligence to approach it in a variety of skillful ways. Sometimes, one will be sitting in meditation, intensely applying oneself while, at other times, one needs to relax. Then again, at other times, one needs to apply oneself

toward accumulating merit and purifying unwholesome imprints and obscurations・ And why? Through the meditation in which one cultivates clear stillness, one chiefly accrues "collection of wisdom/ sometimes called "mental merit'; whereas, through other practices, for example, devotional practices such as performing the Seven-Limb Pujay as well as through cultivating generosity and so forth, one chiefly accumulates 'physical merit* or *collection-of merit/ Therefore, through meditation one is accumulating only the mental merit.


If one is accumulating only one type of merit, this can create an imbalance that can produce insurmountable obstacles. For example, if one is just engaging in meditation, as many people nowadays think is possible, this causes an imbalance which can create simply one obstacle after another・ And why? Because with a deficiency of [[[physical]]] merit, it is possible that disturbances of one's subtle winds or other obstacles might arise. In fact, even


though one is not using up merit through meditation, but is actually accumulating mainly the collection of wisdom, it might seem as if one were exhausting

it. The reason for this is that if one is just focusing on and cultivating this one type of merit, which is also very much related to wisdom and intelligence, it is said that this can decrease one's lifespan. When disturbances and obstacles of this type arise, one needs to focus more on the accumulation of [[[physical]]] merit and purification of unwholesome imprints, accom・ plished through performing complementary practices such as the ones mentioned above, the SevsLimb Pujdy making offerings and so forth.

However, if one already has a tremendous store of merit, the situation can be different; but, nowadays, we are beings living in what is called the 'time of degeneration.' So, we must balance our meditation or complement it with these other practices [designed specifically for the accumulation of physical

merit]・ Otherwise, because one obstacle will come after another, it can perhaps seem as if one were exhausting one's merit. In brief, one must havera~ balanced practice, comprised-of meditation and complementary practices, that is, one must accumulate both physical and mental merit [in order to attain one's goal]・


The Six Powers

1) The first among the 'six powers/ by means of which one attains the nine mental states, is the 'power of hearing" (Tib. thos.pa9i.sfobs)・ It is by means of the power of hearing and retaining the master's instructions on the meditation that one attains the first of the nine mental states

2) The second is the 'power of thoughf or the 'power of reflection9 (Tib. bsam. pa'i・ stobs). It is by means of this power, which involves thinking or reflecting upon the teachings one has heard and bringing them to mind again and again, that one goes on to attain the second mental state.


3) The third is called the 4power of mindfulness9 (Tib. dran. pa'i. stobs)・ It is by means of this power that one attains the third and the fourth mental state


4) The fourth is the 'power of introspective alertness* (Tib. shes.bzhin.gyi.stobs). With this especially acute power of intro


spective alertness, one is on guard, first against subtle sinking and then against subtle excitement. Thus, by means of this power, one attains the fifth and sixth mental states


5) The fifth is the 'power of enthusiasm' (Tib. brtson. 4grus-・kyi.stobs)・ Remember that it is in the seventh state that one dispels the occasionally arising sinking and excitement by the power of enthusiasm. Then in the eighth, at the outset of the sitting, with just a little bit of effort and a little bit of application of enthusiasm, one can continue unhindered・


6) The sixth is the 'power of full acquaintance9 (Tib. yong. su・ *dris. pa'i.stobs). It is by this power that one attains the ninth mental state. By this time, one effortlessly engages in the meditation because one is habituated and accustomed to the practice.


Just as one uses different methods to build a house or an airplane, so are these six powers the tools for building the structure of clear stillness. In fact, this practice can be included in the field of knowledge of creativity, which was mentioned previously. Among the three aspects of this field ・ physical, verbal and mental creativity - this practice is included in that of mental creativity


The Four Types of Attention

Now we go on to the four types of 'attention which are also means for attaining these nine states.


1) The first of these is called the 'squeezing attention9 (Tib. bsgrims. te・'jug.pa'i.yid.byed), or forceful attention. It is with this attention that one attains the first two mental states.


2) The second attention is the 'interrupted attention9 (Tib. chad.cing. 'jug.pa'i.yid.byed). It is with this type of attention that one attains the third up through the seventh mental states. It is called 'interrupted' because it is during this period of mental cultivation that one's concentration is interrupted by the occurrence of sinking and excitement.


3) The third is the Uninterrupted attention (Tib. chad, pa.med.pa.芍ug.pa'i.yid.byed). This occurs in the eighth mental state.

4) The fourth is the 'spontaneous attention (Tib. lhan.gyi.grub-.par. Jug. pa'i.yid.byed). It occurs in the ninth mental state.


This is the means for the practice of meditation and these are the teachings・ Whether one actually applies them or not is one's personal affair. However, whether or not one does engage in the practice of meditation, simply listening to the teachings and ascertaining their meaning leaves extremely beneficial

imprints on one's own mindstream・ One finds in the sutras many such accounts including those of Maudgalyayana and ^ariputra・ Both of them practiced a great deal during the time of the Buddha Ka^yapa, the Buddha before our Buddha ^akyamuni. But, although they practiced a great deal, they did not become

Arhats at that time; so, both of them offered prayers that they would attain Arhatship during the time of the next Buddha, the Buddha ^akyamuni・ In that lifetime, with a short period of practice, they attained a very great realization and became Arhats very swiftly・ In like manner, if we can meditate, this


is excellent. Nowadays though, people are very busy; one might simply not find or make the time for a lot of meditation. Do as much as you can! Merely receiving the teachings is very beneficial. Due to their imprints and through the merit stored in this way, it can happen in the future that with very little effort, with just a few conditions coining together, one may attain samadhi very, very swiftly.

This is the manner in which one generates oneself as the deity Kalacakra. As Sakya Pandita said, "one generates oneself as one's special tutelary deity, and by doing so, dispels the ordinary appearances and conceptualizations・ Through this, one rises from the cycle of existence ・ By the elimination of ordinary appearance and conceptualization, one opens oneself to the tremendous blessings of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas/9 We should, by all means, listen to the words of this great master.


Sakya Pandita continues, "By this means, one purifies unwholesome mental imprints accumulated with the body. One should continually recite the mantra of Kalacakra, which acts to purify unwholesome mental imprints accumulated through speech. One should cultivate compassion in union with the realization of emptiness to purify unwholesome mental imprints accumulated through mental activity・ In this way, if one purifies the unwholesome imprints accumulated through the body, speech and mind, there is no way that one can avoid becoming a fully enlightened being."


Moreover, Lama Gungtang Jampeyang said, "The door which opens the Dharma is hearing the teachings and reflecting upon them. A person who turns away from the bounties of the cycle of existence, particularly of this life, has the quality of the one who is holding Dharma. Thus, turning one's back on the

pleasures of this life alone, and looking beyond to the hereafter is the distinction between a Dharma practitioner and one who is not. And finally, the essence of the path is method and wisdom and the union of the two."


The teachings on the nine states and the four attentions come from Asanga and his texts the Grounds of the Listeners [Skt. ^rdvakabhumi; Tib. Nyen. thos.kyi. sa] and Bodhisattva Grounds [Skt. Bodhisattvabhumi; Tib. By an. chub. sems. sems. dpa9i. sa]. The teachings on the six powers, by means of which

one attains the nine mental states, have been explained by Holy Maitreya and are found in the Ornament for the Mahayana Sutras [Skt. Mahayana-sutralamkara; Tib. Mdo.sde.rgyan, one of the five works of Maitreya brought back from Tusita Heaven by Asanga], In brief, the teaching which has been given here comes from Asanga and Hok Maitreya. It is said to be the king of quintessential instruction on the cultivation of clear stillness.

In addition to the above teachings, the author Asanga describes, in his Grounds of the Listeners, the 13 accumulations which are the causal accumulations

toward the attainment of the clear stillness. Je Tsongkhapa, in his Exposition of the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lam.rim.chen.mo], highly recommends this text to people who are following this type of meditation. Therefore, it should be read and studied. It is especially beneficial to read

texts written by Asanga and attributed to Holy Maitreya: Ornament for the Mahayana Sutras [mentioned above], the Investigation of the Center and the Extremes [Skt. Madhyatavibhdga; Tib. Dbus. dang. mtha\mam. par. byed.pd\^ the Ornament of the Realizations [Skt. Abhisamaydlamkara; Tib.

Mngon.par.rtogs.pa'i.rgyan] and others. By doing so, as His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said, one places imprints upon the mind .which lead to one's future rebirth in the circle of the foremost disciples of Maitreya. If you want to meditate, the teaching that has been given here is indispensable ・ The sources of the teachings are the Buddha


himself, the Holy Maitreya and Asanga ・ From such totally authentic spiritual guides, there is no possibility that one could be deceived or follow mistaken paths. Understand them and then meditate to the best of your abilities. This meditation practice is for students as well as for teachers.

Therefore, I encourage you to meditate and I will do the same. That is all for today. Everybody now has plenty of things to meditate on. You should be very clear about these teachings. There is no time now to go downtown shopping ・・.from now on, meditate only!


We should listen to these teachings on the Kalacakra with an awareness of the great good fortune of having the opportunity to receive them. In addition, our listening should be free of the three faults of a vessel:


having a mind which is like an upside-down pot; having a mind which is like a pot with holes in it; having a mind which is like a pot that is dirty inside. Finally, we should listen with the three types of attitudes or six recognitions 1, as well as with a cheerful mind and a glad countenance



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