Dharma Talks

 Pojo: Golden Teaching of the Mind Cultivation


XIV. Exposing the True Serenity (samadhi) and Wisdom (prajna)

Student: I am still not sure of your explanation of the way we can uphold serenity and wisdom equally in order to cultivate gradually after enlightenment. Would you expound further in detail how to operate upon my ignorance and to enter the Nirvanic gate?

Pojo: If you are concerned about the dharma and its meaning, the entrances to the truth can number one-thousand; but, those are either serenity or wisdom. Concerning the most central ones, they can be summarized as belonging to the categories of either essence or function of the self-nature; which is, as we have said previously, 'the void-and-tranquil and divinely self-gnostic faculty.

Serenity (samadhi) is the essence; wisdom(prajna) is the function; but, the functioning is of essence. Therefore, wisdom is not separated from serenity and essence is of functioning; therefore, serenity is not separated from wisdom. Since serenity as-it-is, is wisdom itself, therefore, it is tranquil and ceaselessly gnostic. And the wisdom as it is, is the serenity itself, therefore, it is gnostic and ceaselessly tranquil. Our teacher from Cho gye said (Sixth Patriarch).

Having no entanglement in the foundation of mind,

Is the serenity of self-nature. having no ignorance in the foundation of mind, is the wisdom of self-nature.

If one has awakened to this point and understood without entanglement; and when the veiling and the luminosity are not dual, then this means the suddenly enlightened one exercises both serenity and wisdom at the same time.

Some insist that,

First of all, entangled mind should be managed by perfect quiescence; then, chaotic mind should be managed by vigilant awareness, and that by these first and latter managements, one will equally control the entanglement and chaos and enter into the tranquility.

This means that one is doing what has been done by the lower minded one who is gradually awakened.

Although one is mentioning equal control of entanglement and chaos, one is already mistaken in trying to cultivate his mind by being quiescent. How can he be called a master who is freely cultivating both without separation from the original tranquility and from the original divinely self-gnostic nature? Once more, the Sixth Patriarch said:

Self-awakened and self cultivated faculties

Are far away from the subject of argument;

Who argues before and after

Is just confused one.

At the Masters' level, upholding serenity and wisdom equally have nothing to do with great effort; originally he has no form of doing and no further achievements required.

His seeing the colors and hearing the sounds are formless doing as are his dressing, eating food, defecating and urinating; talking with someone is formless doing and furthermore, so are taking a walk, stopping, sitting, lying down, speaking, being silent, being joyful or angry-all are always the same. It is like an empty boat which when on top of the wave is higher but then sinks lower; like water passing through the mountain valley, sometimes straight and sometimes meandering in its course; or like from one thought to the next without perceptions.

Today he is free; and tomorrow too, free as a lark. No matter what karmic object comes, he accords without hindrance, and about the good and the bad, neither does he practice nor, does he discount them. He is beyond right or wrong. He has perfected seeing and hearing.

Since there is not even a speck of dust(to oppose), why should we put in such effort to be separate from dust; since there is not a thought from which you can raise delusory feeling, why should we eagerly try to nullify mental attachment in general?

While self-reflective re-examination is not steady and mind is still not settled, various obstacles are thick and habitual tendency is heavy; yet the power of the unenlightened mind is great. One for whom the mind is not comfortable because the power of wisdom is still weak, and while facing a situation of good or bad, will easily cling to either noisy or calm outside conditions; there is, for him, a way to study(the mind) to rid himself of these collections of perspectives. Here is an old saying:

When the six sense roots collect the outer perspectives

And the mind does not chase the collection of those perspectives;

That is the serenity.

When the mind and outer perspectives are both void, it is luminously radiant without confusion;

That is the wisdom.

Although this is the form-pursuers' door of serenity and wisdom; or rather, the lower-minded activities from the gradual school, it is very necessary to be utilized for the purpose of mind cultivation.

First, if the mind is entangled heavily, calm your chaos by utilizing your serenity appropriately. Do not let the mind chase the collection of outer perspectives; instead, let it be in accord with the original nature of tranquility.

Second, if the mind is often sleepy, discover what is true by utilizing your wisdom, contemplate what is empty and let the luminous radiance without confusion be in accord with the original self-gnostic nature (without learning).

By utilizing serenity, calm your chaotic thoughts, and by utilizing wisdom, awaken from your Senseless Blankness. After finishing all tasks of destroying both the noise and the calm, you will be one with originality, and, even if you are faced with the outer perspectives, from one thought to the next you will be one with Tao. If one freely exercises both, he will be named non-doer. Thus, this is the one who saw the Buddha-nature and who upholds serenity and wisdom equally.


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