Dharma Talks

 Pojo: Golden Teaching of the Mind Cultivation


XV. Mutual Exposition of the Serenity and Wisdom

Question: According to your conclusion, there are two cultivating doors after enlightenment by which to concurrently uphold serenity and wisdom; one is self-gnostic-nature door of serenity and wisdom, the other is form-pursuers' door.

1. Of the Self-gnostic-nature door it is said:

Free and still; it is originally doingless, but is gnostic of itself; since there is not even a speck of dust to oppose, why should we put in such effort to be separated from dust; since there is not a thought from which you can raise delusory feeling, why should we eagerly try to remove mental attachment?

So we can say,

This is what the suddenly enlightened man

Upholds his serenity and wisdom concurrently,

Without being separated from self-nature.

2. Of the form-pursuers' door it is said:

Calm your chaos appropriately,

Discover what is true;

Contemplate what is empty,

By concurrently controlling chaos and sleepiness,

Until the level of doinglessness is reached.

So we can say,

This is the gradual form-pursuers' door which

Is for the inferior-minded activities of

Controlling chaos and sleepiness.

But still, some doubt about these two doors of serenity-and-wisdom remains.

If this is what has to be done by everyone, which door should be primary; first to the self-gnostic-nature door of the serenity and wisdom followed by the form-pursuers' door, or going first to the form-pursuers' door to control sleepiness and chaos followed by the self-gnostic-nature door?

Suppose one has to depend upon the serenity and wisdom of the self-gnostic-nature itself is already free in its tranquil intellect and there should not be any further work to do.

On the other hand, why should one need to uphold serenity and wisdom by the form-pursuers' door?

Wouldn't it be just like having carved white jade by which the beauty of jade would be ruined?

Suppose one has to go to the self-gnostic-nature door after accomplishing definite goals utilizing the form-pursuers' door of serenity and wisdom. That means this is the gradual way of mind cultivation-inferior-minded. How can it possibly be said, 'the one from the path of sudden-enlightenment should be awakened before cultivation by the formless study?'

Student: If both are concurrent without occurring before and after and since the serenity and wisdom of both the gradual and the sudden are distinctly different, how can it be accomplished concurrently? On the one hand the man from the sudden-enlightened path should be free from studying because he relies on the self-gnostic-nature. On the other hand the inferior-minded person, by relying on the form-pursuers' door, should cultivate himself eagerly to be improved.

Those of both paths are distinctly different; there are those of the sudden, while the others are of the gradual. Those of the prior are superior while the latter are inferior. How can you explain, then, their being together in the sense of the path of cultivation-after-enlightenment?

Pojo: I have already explained to you clearly: you, yourself raise the doubt. Just understand the meaning and do not follow the words and everything will be clear without argument. According to what we have seen of both doors, one who practices self-gnostic-nature of serenity and wisdom depends upon the sudden enlightenment path by formless examination. One who practices serenity and wisdom at the sudden enlightenment door, utilizing effortless effort and practicing serenity and wisdom together without separation in perfect quiescence, cultivates his own self-nature and attains Buddha Tao by himself.

The ones who practice serenity and wisdom through (compared to those above) the form-pursuers' door gradually cultivate before they become enlightened which is very inferior-minded: practicing the riddance of outer perspective from one thought to the next by trying to cut out confusion and enter the stillness.

The activities of both, the sudden and gradual, are very different and shouldn't be overlooked.

However, the reason, in the cultivation-after-enlightenment-path, that they utilize the form-pursuers' expedient methods of cultivation is not because they totally depend on inferior-minded activities but rather choose these expedients as temporary paths to traverse and as rest spots. Why? Because even on the path of sudden enlightenment there are also superior and inferior-minded ones, And so, one behavior is not indicative of the wholeness of one's enlightenment.

If one's bewilderment is not heavily coated and body and mind are easy-joyful, then, when facing the good or the bad, one is obstructed by neither the good nor the bad; also, the eight fundamental vices and three faculties of perception are already tranquil. One is able to practice the serenity and wisdom of self-gnostic-nature freely and concurrently, because his nature is divinely true and doing-less. Either moving or resting he is always in serenity(ch'an), having accomplished the nature-as-it-is. Why is it necessary for him to do the form-pursuers' expedient method of cultivation? Do not search for the remedy without the disease.

Even though one is already suddenly awakened, if his bewilderment is heavily coated and his habitual inclinations are strong and rigid, when facing the outer perspectives, from one thought to the next, he creates delusory opinions. When facing external karmic relations from one thought to the next, one creates the opposed relativities and, getting lost in the sleepiness and chaos, he is obscuring luminous radiance of self-gnostic quiescence. Such a one should depend on the serenity and wisdom of the form-pursuers' door to cultivate himself by that expedient method and control himself from sleepiness and chaos in order to be one with the non-doer.

Even though he utilizes the expedient method to control his habitual inclinations; and, because it was suddenly awakened before that the nature of mind in itself is originally pure and the nature of bewilderment is originally empty, he wouldn't be deceived by the path of the inferior-minded, defiled cultivation.

Fir what reason? Generally speaking, cultivating before awakening, even though one studies hard in every thought without forgetting, still whatever one faces(outer perspectives) one would wonder about and thus find it impossible to be obstruction-less. It is just like a heavy weight on his chest. Terrible anxiety is hanging around in front of his eyes. Only after a long period of time has passed and great practice has ripened, will one's body and mind's bewilderment be eased. Even though he becomes easy now, still the roots of the wondering are ceaseless. It is as if the wild bushes were compressed by stone; it is still not completely free from the life-and-death boundary. Because of this all sages say,

Cultivation-before-awakening is not real cultivation.

For the one who is awakened, in spite of having expedient methods of cultivation, in each and every thought, he does not have wondering; because of that, he cannot be defiled. When days and months have passed, he will naturally be unified to the divinely true and sublime nature, and is gnostic of himself; free and still. In every thought he might encounter the collection of outer perspectives but, even so, he will cut out all bewilderments permanently without separating from self-nature and uphold the serenity and wisdom concurrently. He will finally attain the annutarasamyaksambodhi and thus be neither undifferentiatingly nor differentiatingly at the level of the superior-minded.

The serenity and wisdom in the form-pursuers' door is still for the gradual-cultvators' activities; but, for the masters' level it is the same as the refining of gold from its raw are form.

If one understands this meaning, he wouldn't be confused as to whether or not the two doors of serenity and wisdom are different.


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