What is the samādhi spoken of in Ganhwa Seon?

The samādhi spoken of in Ganhwa Seon

Sammae is a word that comes from the Sanskrit samādhi, and indicates the condition of mind and body in one thusness or the extinction of self and everything. This means the state in which I and objects become one, pure and calm, without being disturbed. It is a condition that clearly shows a clear realization of reality as it is when the signs of thought disappear and things are only as they are. Such a condition is also called the dhyāna in which one is calm, absorbed in meditation and concentrating the mind on one object.

In Ganhwa Seon hwadu-samadhi is emphasized. I and the hwadu are one and there is the hwadu solely alone. This means that it is not the completion and objectification of the hwadu, but one must know clearly the fact that I and the hwadu are one. Only when one is immersed in the hwadu, and only when the hwadu and I become one mass, and as long as one can put it down it cannot be put down and as soon as one tries to discard it it cannot be discarded, and as soon as one enters the state of the silver mountains and iron walls, only then can it be called a complete hwadu-samādhi. If in this condition one can conquer the hwadu, immediately wisdom appears. This is the same as the principle of when the clouds clear immediately the sun appears. If one is suddenly enlightened by conquering the hwadu in this way, this is the samādhi of the form of oneness that Seon Master Huineng spoke of.

The realm of ultimate samādhi emphasized in Seon

The samādhi valued in the Seon School are the samādhi of the form of oneness (ilsang sammae) and the samadhi of the single practice (ilhaeng sammae). Samādhi is the unification with usually done things. For example, this means the samādhi of book-reading and the samādhi of movies. Such samādhis, although they are caught up in objects, because they are thinking samādhis, and although they are intent on each single object and become one with it, are definitely not the samādhi spoken of in the Seon School that cuts off the paths of thought and language.

The samādhi spoken of in Seon, even in the realm of sound is not contaminated by sound, and in the material realms are not stained by that. Such samādhis are the samādhi of the form of oneness and the samādhi of the single practice spoken of by Seon Master Huineng. The samādhi of single practice is in the daily affairs of going, remaining, sitting down and lying down, to always act with a direct mind. The samādhi of the form of oneness means that no matter where one is located, not to dwell in form, and even if one has grasped form, that one must not produce a mind of dislike or like (towards that form).

Such a samādhi is a life that uses the direct mind or jiksim. Therefore, together with all things one always clearly knows, is tranquil and alert and is not caught up anywhere. Seon Master Linji’s, “Be the master wherever one goes, wherever one stands is totally the state of truth” points to the condition of ultimate samādhi.

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