Chapter VIII, Parts III, IV, VII, VIII, IX of Buddhist Meditation:
Systemanc and Practica
By C. M. Chen as written down by Rev. Kantipalo
I. Why Hinayana Meditations must be practised first rather than beginning
with the Mahayana
Good advice for us may be found in the history of China where
from the Han to the Tang dynasties both the lesser and the greater Vehicles
were followed. As a result there were many sages at this time, some of
them even Arhats. In their biographies we read that at death the bodies
of these Noble Ones revealed certain signs identifying their attainment.
If they had attained Arhatship, then the index finger of the right hand
turned up and backwards; Anagamin attainment was indicated by the second
finger similarly turning and so on for the sakridagamin and srotapanna
level of attainment. Such records indicated that the Hinayana was at this
time alive and very vigorous.
Many monks following the Mahayana have taken up the Hinayana meditation
practises though they keep in their minds a Mahayanic attitude. Also in
the Mahayana Sutras, many Arhats have been mentioned and even their attainments
have been praised. Many patriarchs of Ch'an schools were Arhats both in
outlook and in name. So we should not think of these two yanas as mutually
exclusive, nor begin our practice with these two yanas as mutually exclusive,
nor begin our practice with the second one, the Mahayana. But since the
Sung dynasty, monks and laymen of all schools pretend to be Bodhisattvas
and rebuke the Hinayana. Even though they do not go as far as saying that
the Hinayana is not the Buddha's teachings, still they over-emphasize the
Great Way and blame the followers of the other too much (for 'selfishness',
'ignorance', etc.) These "Bodhisattvas," because of their wrong emphasis,
spend most of their time running around doing good deeds for others, using
all of their time to gather merits for their 'perfections' and have little
or none left for meditation. They wish to benefit others but neglect their
own spiritual cultivation and as a result, cannot ultimately benefit others.
I am indeed sorry that I was born so late in the history of the Dharma.
How difficult it is these days, (Mr. Chen wept), to find those who will
welcome and practise the doctrine of the Hinayana. People only wish for
something easy nowadays, they do not want to hear about renunciation and
morality—how sad this is! Mr. Chen spoke with very great feeling about
this and then weepingly continued: With my own blood and tears in every
one of my works, I have stressed the importance of the Hinayana. I have
done everything to promote its good. With deep feeling which communicated
itself to the bhikshus present, our yogi cried out: If there is no Hinayana,
the foundation of the whole Dharma has gone. No Hinayana, no basis for
meditation. No Hinayana meditation, then no progress through the other
yanas. Without this progress, there can be no final realization. But said
the yogi, wiping his eyes, there are many people these days who like Tantra
or Ch'an and play at practising them without so much as a glance at the
basis of these practices. Delusion leads them to neglect the very foundation
of their meditations.
Tantra (and Ch'an) is like the top of a tall building—to attempt to
build only the top without even cutting the turf for the foundation would
be foolishness indeed. Such are the actions of these "experts" in Ch'an
B. Hinayana is very good for the present day when many pursue
the illness of desires. Now science is very developed, it is easy for people
to fulfill their desires and to be lured on to desire more and more. All
together most people are influenced too much by their surroundings which
these days are often designed to stimulate desire. Because not everyone
can get what they want, so evil actions are committed and merit is lost
to gain a desired end. From day to day, merit decreases and demerit increases
as desires multiply.
Now Hinayana, which emphasizes very insistently fewness of desires,
is therefore a good medicine for this disease. There are many good people
in this world who think that the medicine lies in other bottles. They propose
to dose the world with tonics labeled 'Democracy', 'Communism', 'Co-existence'
or 'Co-operation', etc. None of these are worth the name of medicine and
none can achieve the cures they advertise. Each power-group proposes its
own cure, whether of the Free Market, the Iron and Bamboo Curtain countries
or those in neither camp—all put forward economic policies as cure-alls,
all aim at materialism, all work for mammonism. The titles of the principle
works of Adam Smith and Karl Marx are surely significant, "The Wealth of
Nations" and "Das Kapital." They both propose economies based on a similar
attitude to money, where it is regarded not only as necessary but as a
means of satisfying desire. This is not the way to save people. Why do
people not learn from the evidence before their own eyes ? To take but
a small selection of American statistics: After the Second World War finished
in 1947, the overall figures for the eight great types of crimes were:
1947?,560,000; 1950?,790,000; 1958?,796,000. While in the State of New
York alone, the total number of documented offenses was 780,000, and of
these 354 were murder, 1100 were cases of rape, and 6000 were crimes of
Disturbance among youth is reflected in the low standards of sexual
morality and the sharp rises in adolescent crime; in Boston during 1940,
450 cases were recorded but by 1957 this had risen to 1030—more than doubled.
Diseases spread through the widespread looseness of sexual relationships
have greatly increased and in 1958 there were 200,000 reported cases. Orphanages
and foundling hospitals full of unwanted or illegitimate children are tragic
comments on the inability of many human beings to restrain themselves.
The only cure for all this is to reduce the power of desire and an effective
way of doing this is through the teachings of the Hinayana. When the house
is on fire, it is no use trying to save it with more fire—only water will
extinguish it. Similarly, the way out of the tangle of desires is not to
make them stronger by repeatedly indulging them but to weaken them through
morality and renunciation which are strong Hinayanic instructions.
Here I would like to give you a list of practises representing a way
of life so different from that conceived by most Westerners that a greater
contrast could hardly be found.
|MODERN WESTERN LIFE
|hermit dwelling by himself in a cave, forest, or any solitary place;
dwelling only among tombs; living only at the root of a tree;
an open-air dweller with no protection from the elements; sleeping in
any offered place;
not choosing for one's comfort with only space for sitting and not lying
down to sleep.
|with family and friends, in a well-built house of comfortable furniture;
surrounded by every luxury and ornament and a garden with flowers and
iving in a pleasant cottage with all comforts in the midst of the forest;
buildings vith their own interior climates, hot or cold, controlled
everywhere availing oneself of numerous and comfortable hotels;
even the earth is not large enough so trying to go to the moon; luxury
of large mattress.
The differences between the ancient Buddhist tradition of mild and helpful
asceticism adopted voluntarily by some bhikshus, and the man of the present
day wallowing in every possible pleasure is surely plain enough. The former
desired by means of these restraints (severe ascetic practises were not
permitted by the Buddha) to decrease and help check desires, while the
latter do not even know that their sorrows originate in desire, let alone
have the thought of checking it. To save such deluded people, there is
the doctrine of the Hinayana.
For Westerners, this is hard to accept. I have written many, many letters
to my Western Buddhist friends praising the benefits of renunciation. In
reply, my friends complain how difficult this is for them and then point
out that I am from the East where they say people possess few things and
may easily renounce them due to the existing traditions. But I must emphasize
once again that RENUNCIATION is the beginning of the Dharma and people
have to adapt themselves to the Dharma if they would truly benefit.
What follows you must write and have printed in BLOCK CAPITALS, said
Mr. Chen: WE SHOULD LEAD THE PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT COUNTRIES TO FOLLOW THE
DHARMA BUT WE SHOULD NOT CHANGE THE DHARMA TO SUIT THE PEOPLE. The Dharma
cannot be fitted to peoples' desires and notions, it is the people who
have to change: this is the importance of renunciation on the Hinayana
Friends write to me: Oh, you are like a sage of the classical times,
you resemble the ancient worthies in your strong will to renounce, but
what of us, how can we do all this? Said, Mr. Chen with great emotion:
Rather one true Buddhist than all the world adopting a false Buddhism.
At least one should save oneself first—or how will you save others? First
one should get a good character by one's own development and then try to
aid other beings. We should remember the great example of Milarepa; he
renounced completely, he lived a life practising the dhutagunas though
he was not a Bhikshu, and as a result of his determination and strong effort,
he came to the experience of the Great Perfection. For Buddhists, quality
comes first, not quantity.
This contrasts with the usual Christian attitude for instance. They
say that so many millions have been converted to their religion yet not
all the pores of the hairs on all of those millions of bodies are worth
anything, compared to the greatness of one saint such as St. Francis of
The work of a sincere Buddhist is to lead the people to prepare themselves
to practise the Hinayana and then direct them to the Great and Diamond
Ways. He should not care whether or not they follow. If they do not, Dharma
cannot be made into a sweet confection just for them and their tastes.
Some religions care only for numbers of members but pay no attention to
their spiritual quality—this is not so good.
There is a ray of hope in England, added Mr. Chen brightening considerably.
The long-established Pali Text Society has done excellent work in making
the fundamentals of Buddhadharma well-known. Here, the writer commented
that the PTS ought to present our yogi with a complete set of their works
as he values them so much and praises them so often. Smilingly, our yogi
continued: Today I have had good news from the Buddhist Society in London.
A letter from their good Secretary tells me of a Buddhist Summer School
and of another week devoted to meditation practice. It is good, very good—so
approved Mr. Chen.
II. Why have we talked about these Five Meditations but have omitted the
Mention has already been made in earlier chapters of the twelve
dhyanas described very often in Hinayana texts. Why are these not included
here? The first group of these, the four rupadhyanas, were a subject of
the last chapter. (See Booklet No. 63 Samatha) The four arupadhyanas are
not specifically Hinayana either but as with the first group are the common
attainment of Buddhists and outsiders. Before one hears the preaching of
the Buddha and comes to know of the Four Noble Truths, one may practise
these concentrations though they will have but limited value; after one
hears the Hinayana preachings and obtains, as a result, Right View, then
there will be no questions in the mind about the whereabouts of consciousness
of the infinity of space. The practice of the Hinayana concentration leads
one to go beyond them, for the result of such practice is the ninth stage
(Arhatship), not merely the eighth (the realm of neither-perception-nor-nonperception,
the highest arupa-dhyana). This attainment lies outside the subject of
the present chapter so we will continue on.
What of the Four Boundless Minds? These are infinite in the sense of
mathematical quantity but not infinite regarding philosophic truth. Their
practice is only to increase merits (and to be born as a result in one
of the heavens) but is not concerned with salvation. The character of these
four is very good but we shall have a chance to talk about similar qualities
in the Six Paramitas and in the Tantras (though in different context),
so we have omitted them here.
III. The Five Meditations themselves and how they help achieve a settled
A. Impurity Meditations:
Mr. Chen took the little skull and set it on the ground between our
chairs. With its aid we may understand the necessary stages of concentration.
Every one of these five meditations may be divided up under eight headings.
But first we should mention again our four-fold samatha-samapatti (See
Booklet No. 63 Samatha) with reference to our present subject.
- First comes the Samapatti of Samatha, in which one repeatedly gazes at
and concentrates upon one point. In this way one gets the mind to the ninth
stage of samatha and then begins the samapatti of impurity.
- The Samatha of Samatha is when one has got good concentration. The latter
is its common name only.
- Samapatti of Samapatti. The latter is samapatti itself such as thinking
upon the truth of impurity. The former is some method used as a cure, such
as Right Mindfulness or Right Recognition to correct the true samapatti
when it goes astray.
- Samatha of Samapatti. The former is the firm concentration attained during
the exercise of the samapatti, the latter is samapatti itself.
If during this meditation, your mind goes elsewhere and does not
like to remain concentrated on the subject of impurity, then the medicine
for this is Right Recognition so that the samatha may be quickly recovered.
The mind may still be continuing with the subject but not so strongly
and with a tendency to sleep, then with Right Recognition raise up the
This Impurity meditation is always accompanied by the perception of
pain and impermanence (duhkha and anitya) and it is therefore easy to become
sleepy. Any samapatti upon subjects arousing feelings of dislike will tend
to throw up this obstacle. We should consider: Today is quickly passing
and no one knows when death will come. Think upon death thus, and fear
it; you have no time to sleep. This is a good cure.
This meditation of impurity is on the various stages of decomposition
of the body as listed in Buddhist meditation manuals. The Sanskrit list
has the following stages (and a slightly different series is known in Pali):
a. Vyadhmatakasamjna (tumefaction) b. Vinilakas (blue color) c. Vipadumakas
(decay) d. Vilohitakas (messy of blood) e. Vipuyakas (discharge and rotten
flesh) f. Vikhaditakas (devoured by birds and beasts) g. Viksiptakas (demembering)
h. Asthis (bones) i. Vidagdhakas (burnt to dust).
By scholars of the Buddhist tradition these nine meditations have been
aligned with six renunciations, first increasing the list by adding initially
the thought of death, and then by disregarding the seventh as superfluous.
The qualities to be renounced and the meditations to accomplish this are:
- Meditate on Death. When one thinks of this, the desires for a fine manner
and flowery speech are abandoned. Oh, said Mr. Chen getting up, when one
of my patrons met anyone in his house he was so proud! And he imitated
this worthy gentleman's quite imperial manner of walking! Laughing about
this while at the same time quite serious about the importance of these
meditations he continued: Yes, consider a corpse, it has neither a delicate
manner nor fine words.
- Meditate on a discoloured corpse (vinilaka), bluish and blotchy in colour.
Which desire is thereby abandoned? Desires for fine complexion and beautiful
- Meditate with the three kinds of corpses to destroy the desires for a nice
face and a shapely figure. For this, meditate with corpses that are swollen
(vyadhmatakasamjna), decayed (vipadumaka), and one bitten by animals (vikhaditaka).
- Meditate with a corpse messy with blood (vilohitaka), and with one discharging
pus (vipuyaka) to renounce the desires of sensual love and sexual attraction.
- Meditate on bones (asthi) and powdered bones (vidagdhaka) to give up all
attachment to smoothness, fineness and subtlety in the human body.
- Total meditation on all nine of them renounces the desire for a human form
and the imagination which makes it appear desirable.
One should if possible have a corpse or skeleton for one's practice. Although
this may be difficult now, the best results are to be obtained with actual
body remains, but concentration upon a picture will also be fruitful. Mr.
Chen showed the writer the photo of a learned and well-practiced Chinese
upasaka standing beside a skeleton and other human remains which he used
in his practice.
To return to our topic of the eight headings for each of the five meditations,
in reference to the first Impurity Meditations, these are:
- What is the object or self nature of our meditation upon impurity as a
whole? To counteract the poison of greed or lust (lobha, raga).
- The second of the eight headings for our subject is its common nature.
We must think of impermanence to which all are subjected, all beings experience
death. Even the Buddha and great Arhats could not escape from it, so what
- As to its karmic quality: meditation on Impurity leads to a revulsion from
the things desired by the many folk and therefore decreases the unskillful
or 'black' karma of desire. Detachment leads to the performance of more
and more 'white' actions. Thus one takes the white and leaves the black.
- Time: In the past, the Enlightened Ones and their noble followers have
passed away in countless numbers. In the present, neighbors, parents, children,
the young as well as the old, all are dying. While in the future the same
process will continue. This is our meditation with reference to the three
- Reason of Condition or Correspondence: Because we meditate upon impurity,
we shall not pursue the six desires of human beings, but if we do not so
meditate then we shall be lured by the beauties perceived through the senses.
- The Reason of Function: If one meditates upon this subject and succeeds,
then greed is destroyed.
- The Reason of Practical Realization: Here we should again consider the
spiritual qualities taught in the Yogacara. The first is the quality of
the Buddha's instruction given upon this subject. Secondly, one meditates
upon the common man's thought of the body's beauty and compares it with
underlying impurity—this is comparative quality. Thirdly, one will realize
the impurity and impermanence doctrines together with that suddenly developed
Immediate Insight quality when one sees what this body has become in this
and that state through many conditions. When this is seen, greed is cut
- Reason of Bhutatathata: Whether we do or do not meditate on impurity, its
Dharma nature is void. We should not discriminate too much, for purity
and impurity are both sunyata and the Dharma nature inconceivable.
This scheme of eight sections, we shall now apply to each of the other
B. The Merciful Meditations (Maitri, Karuna). This should be practised
to cure the sorrow of hate.
- The self-nature of this meditation is to have equal mercy upon the three
kinds of beings, those who are one's friends, one's enemies, and those
neither friend, nor foe. Here the meditator gives them pleasure, makes
them all happy.
- The common nature of this meditation is that all beings have pain, so why
should we increase it? Every man and woman, every form of life everywhere
may at some time have been our father or mother. Should we not therefore
give them something to make them happy? The relative positions of being
among the hurt or being one who hurts, change constantly. Realizing this,
we are stupid to even think of hurting others, let alone actually doing
With this meditation strengthened we are truly able to give happiness
to all beings.
- Karmic Kind: If we do not hate them, we get no hurt either for them or
for ourselves. This is 'white' karma. Hating and harming only produce 'black'
results. For such deeds we may fall into the hell states.
- As regards Time: How many beings in the past have already died and yet
I have not given them mercy. I must make the best use of the present to
do this and make them all joyous. Thus, I must continue right into the
future. In this way the meditator should think.
- Correspondence: Neither subject nor object nor the happiness given by the
practice of this meditation have any self-nature; all are interdependent.
- According to function, if I practise the Merciful Mind then the poison
of hate will be eliminated.
- Under practical realization, we consider:
- The quality of the Buddha's instruction. The merciful mind was taught by
him and so all our life should be based upon this.
- Comparative quality means realizing by repeated practice that there is
absolutely no friend and no foe.
- The direct quality of realization of the merciful mind is when one becomes
like the Buddhas who possess the mind of Great Mercy (Mahakaruna).
- The reason of the Bhutatathata: When realization is so much advanced, one
meditates upon the Dharma's nature of sunyata in which neither friend nor
enemy can be distinguished. With such an attainment the Great Mercy is
just dependent on Truth.
C. Dependent Origination or Conditioned Co-Production (pratitya-samutpada).
The sorrow of ignorance is combated by these meditations.
- All the twelve spokes of this wheel, whether those going before or following
after, all twelve factors are impermanent. This is their self-nature.
- Common to all of them is the fact that they are fetters, bonds or chains
which keep people in subjection. They are opposed to freedom and if a person
does not know their void nature but clings to them as though they were
real, then he will be very much pained.
- Karma. Without meditation upon Dependent Origination we do not know why
we have come into samsara and have then no ability to escape, so we may
continue performing 'black' karma. Meditation upon this wheel of twelve
factors, we gain knowledge of how to free ourselves from them; this is
- Time. In the scheme of the twelve, three times are distinguished together
with their effects: of the past upon the present, and of that in turn upon
the future. Not knowing how this conditioning (but not predestination)
works, ignorant people are trapped within the continuous flow of these
times and actions.
- Interdependence. Cause, effect, action, feeling—all of these conditions
are inter-related and produce between them: Duhkha.
- The function here is to get rid of ignorance, achieved by the practice
of these meditations.
- Practical Realizations:
- The main instruction of Pratyekabuddhas is this twelve linked wheel. This
is the instruction quality.
- Making a study of the twelve conditions and the way they interact, the
gathering of evil and the collecting of merit; this means the comparative
- The insight of the direct quality of realization: if this is accomplished
then one gains the stage of Pratyekabuddha but if this is united to Mahasunyata,
then one attains to the first level of the Bodhisattva path.
- The Bhutatathata reason: because all beings are dependently originated
and possessed of no abiding self, therefore, the Bhutatathata will be attained
since it too is no-self.
D. Discrimination of the Elements
As a cure for haughtiness, pride, conceit, egocentricity, mana, a sorrow
known by many names, this meditation is recommended.
- It's self-nature is according to the individual natures of the elements:
thus earth elements possess the nature of solidity, water of cohesion,
fire of heat, air of motion, space of nothingness and consciousness of
- All our body is made of these elements and everything else in the universe
is gathered from them. They are common to all phenomena in none of which
is a self to be found.
- Karma. If one resolves the body into these elements one finds only qualities,
wherefore self, where pride? No pride results in 'white' karma, for one
has thereby become both simple and humble. Without this meditation one
is subject to thoughts like "I am very high, learned, clever"—all this
is pride, 'black' Karma.
- Time. In the past only six elements came into the mother's womb. In the
present these six elements continue while the body after death will still
have six elements.
- Just as wood, plaster and glass by their correct arrangement make up a
house, so the combination of the six interdependent elements results in
- If in this meditation one can get attainment, then self-pride will be destroyed—this
is the function.
- Practical Realization:
- The Buddha taught us to be humble—this is the instruction quality.
- If we compare a humble person with a proud one, the former gets more benefit
from instruction than the latter—this is the comparative quality.
- When we have attained to no-pride and exhibit sameness of response to all
we meet, this shows our direct quality of realization.
- For the Bhutatathata reason: everything is gathered from conditions devoid
of self. In the Dharma nature there is no self, so the Bhutatathata will
E. Mindfulness of Breathing (Anapranasmriti)
This is the cure of many doubts and distractions.
- Inhalation and exhalation must be known properly as they truly are, whether
long or short, gross or subtle. This is the meditation's self-nature.
- Whether long or short, it is all impermanent for if one breath goes out
and another comes not in, then death takes place. It is common for all
life to depend on breath.
- Karma. If one does not concentrate upon Anaprana then there are no reins
to the mind. The distracted mind develops some doubts, these result in
actions of an evil nature, or 'black' karma. With attention given to the
breath, it becomes regular and subtle and the mind likewise is calmed.
Distractions, doubts and unskillful actions are banished and so only 'white'
karma is committed.
- Time does not go according to the watch but by the breath. Thus, there
are many time and breath doctrines in the Vajrayana and many sages there
have been able, through their control of breath, to control also time.
Such was the Siddha Biwapa of great powers. He had long practised control
of breathing and come to perfection in this yoga. Coming one day without
any money to a wine shop, he ordered drink after drink until the landlord
grew impatient to see his money and demanded that he pay. Biwapa answered,
saying that he would pay when the sun passed the angle of the glass held
in his hand. Meanwhile he instructed the inn-keeper to give him a continuous
supply of drinks. For seven days the sun did not set, standing still in
the heavens and unable to pass Biwapa's glass. The king of those parts
was naturally most surprised and took counsel on what he should do. He
was advised to see whether there was any especially saintly man staying
in the locality. Search was made and Biwapa found still drinking. The king
paid the bill for him and after that the sun was at last able to set. Mr.
Chen briefly explained that if the breath (of which the sun is a symbol)
is kept pressed down then the suspended state produced in the yogi's body
is reflected in the corresponding event in the exterior world. Hence the
sun being unable to set. This little story, said Mr. Chen smiling, is just
to enliven the talk amid so many lists. It illustrates very nicely the
dependence of the three times on the breath.
- Function. If we meditate and count the number of the inhalations, then
this prolongs life and we shall know that life depends on the breath, recognize
the impermanence doctrine, and thus cut off doubts and distractions.
- No person breathes—it just comes in and goes out without any real self;
it is dependent on life conditions.
- Practical Realizations:
- Our life depends on breath. If only one breath does not come in, then death.
It is the quality of the Buddha's personal instruction that the length
of one's life is really the duration of one's breath.
- By knowing the breath as long and short, whether going in or coming out
as well as its color—in this way we gain the comparative quality.
- When one gets the breath stopped and this corresponds to samatha, we may
get a deep samatha of truth—this is the direct quality.
- Bhutatathata. Inhaling and exhaling, abiding and stopping, all are of sunyata.
In is Bhutatathata, out is Bhutatathata, starting and stopping, all are
in Tathata, all are Dharma nature. If we follow this practice, then we
too realize this nature.
IV. Should all the Five Meditations be practised or may they be individually
chosen according to one's own preferences or predominant sorrow?
Among the Five Sorrows, some persons are especially strong in one, either
this or that, because everyone is not the same. These five practices should
be varied according to the disease to be cured and any predominant illness
treated with a greater dose of the appropriate meditation. But it is not
wise to practise only one and to omit all the others since every man more
or less has these five sorrows, and an unbalanced character will result
from such one-sided spiritual growth.
I have made a complete day-to-day program of six sittings for a hermit
and hope it may be of value to those devoting themselves full-time to meditation.
We have to be, said Mr. Chen addressing the writer, thoroughly practical
in our book.
A. Early Morning Session:
One Sitting. Meditation: Anapranasriti.
Why practice this in the morning? It is then when our energies are strong
and these make for a distracted mind. After just having woken up, man may
have a sleepy manner and not be fully awake which will favour sloth and
torpor. This meditation helps overcome both these conditions. Also the
air in the early morning is very fresh and good so that a concentration
on the breath is even more beneficial. Its nature is such that it is easily
related to both of the important aspects of meditation development: both
to mystic haveness (the accumulation of merits, punya-sambhava) and to
B. Before Noon:
- First Sitting. Meditation: The Merciful Mind—for the development of the
mystic haveness aspect.
- Second Sitting. Meditation: The resolution of the elements for voidness.
- First Sitting. Meditation: On the Impurity of the body.
Between the hours of one and three, the lustful mind is strong as
the energy currents in the body are flowing downwards. The neophyte should
attend carefully to this practice during these hours in order that no downward
flow of semen results. This is belonging to conditional haveness.
- Second Sitting. Meditation: Dependent Origination—to penetrate voidness.
One Sitting. Meditation: Anapranasmriti again as this is good for obtaining
samatha, for developing samapatti, and for abiding the meditator to get
a good sleep.
These instructions are for the person whose five poisons are equal.
If for special characters with pronounced greed or hatred (etc.) to overcome,
they should adapt this plan to their own needs. However, continued our
yogi, I do not agree with the six types of character taught by the different
Hinayana teachers (but not in the Sutras). I have tried to find these in
myself but without conclusive success. Much easier to distinguish, it seems
to me, is a scheme of four character types:
- Quick-tempered (Anaprana is very beneficial).
- Of slow temper (Impurity Meditations are needed to counteract the greed
- Wise (The Merciful Mind for proper balance).
- Merciful (the Elements Meditation for Wisdom).
V. What is the exact Realization of each of these Meditations?
For precisely showing the different degrees of realization, each
one is divided into three classes:
- The Highest: In any handsome boy or beautiful girl, the meditator can immediately
see the impurity and is not even aware in the slightest degree of beauty.
This faculty he has while going about in the world, not only during the
time of meditation.
- Middling: The meditator can only see impurity in samapatti but not when
he has broken off his investigation.
- The Lowest: Impurity is only sometimes seen in a dream.
- Merciful Mind
- If one's mercy corresponds to sunyata, this is the highest realizational
- If one can make some happiness for real enemies, it is of middling realization.
- If one is only able to reduce anger somewhat, this is the lowest.
- Resolution of Elements
- When attainment corresponds to perceiving the non-egoism of Dharmas, this
is the highest.
- When one sees the natural order of five elements in the body and identifies
this element as earth, this as water, fire, and space—such attainment is
- When there is only ability to harmonize water and fire elements for the
prevention of sickness—the lowest attainment.
- Dependent Origination
- The highest is realization corresponding to non-egoism of the 'person.'
- Middling realization is touching the eighth consciousness, the appearance
by the meditative force of the consciousness.
- Lowest is the realization demolishing the false view of 'myself' ('my body'—satkayadristi).
- Should the out-breath stop and not return and also the movement of the
inner energy be stilled—the highest realization.
- With outer breath stopped but not the inner energy movements: middling.
- Neither stopped, but counting their number slowly, regularly, and without
It should by now not be necessary to say that all the various realizations
given here come about only through personal practice. All these degrees
are arranged according to my experience and by my reason and are not cited
from any sutra or shastra.
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[Related works: Buddhist Meditation Systematic and Practical Chapter VIII 佛教禪定實修體系 第八章