A calm mind is only a beginning

a-calm-mind-is-only-a-beginning

Having a calm mind does not mean that ones are done! It is perhaps just the beginning. The cultivation path still has many obstacles. Even when ones have reached the Second Stage of meditation, their tendencies, views, memories, and karma are still there.

Unfortunately, these tendencies and views are not completely moral and wholesome. Thus, it is such a poor assumption that when ones have a pure and calm mind, they have finished their journey or that all of their points of views are totally correct and reliable.

As Buddha taught in Nikaya, achieving fruition in Meditation (Four Jhanasof Right Concentration) does not necessarily mean also achieving fruitions in Sainthood (Four Stages of Enlightenment/Sainthood).

When ones have achieved Sainthood, their viewpoints will begin to be more correct. The correctness of ones’ viewpoints increases as they achieve higher in Sainthood (from the first stage – Sotapanna, to the second stage – Sakadagami, the third – Anagami, and the highest stage is Arahant). Here, we use the phrase “begin to be more correct,” because ones’views point will never become completely correct all at once, but it is rather a process of rectifying and correcting as they achieve higher in Sainthood. For instance, a person who achieves Sotapanna will have absolute faith in Dharma and absolute reverence for Buddha; however, since that person hasn’t yet had supernatural powers and wisdom to know everything in life, he or she still has some misunderstandings and even incorrect viewpoints. Surprisingly, even Arahants, who have achieved the absolute Enlightenment and Liberation just as Buddha, still don’t have the utter and meticulous wisdom like Buddha.

As the matter of fact, ones’ views on spiritual practice, the goal of enlightenment, and their virtue have been deeply inscribed on their subconsciousness. Even after they have achieved the very deep state of Meditation and Concentration, the information in subconsciousness still remain intact. So here is the important question. What are the sources of those tendencies, viewpoints, and understanding that people save in their subconsciousness?

Those are from their teachers, from books that they learned, or from personal experience and self-reflection. When ones ACCEPT what they learn, read, and study – those knowledge and information will imprint in their subconsciousness and become the part of their mind. That information is then able to govern their thoughts and behaviors.

Most of the time people learn from their religious teachers or masters to learn about Buddhism. To regard someone as a master, ones must believe that such person is the best one. Unfortunately, most people cannot know whether the teachers that they trust actually achieve any fruition of Sainthood or not to determine whether their teachings are mostly right or wrong. If they have achieved one of the four stages in Sainthood, their teachings will most likely to be correct and will be tremendously beneficial. However, if those teachers have only achieved some fruition in meditation and not Sainthood, their teachings are not guaranteed to be correct even they might possess some supernatural abilities and powers. Accepting and believing their incorrect views can be dangerous for ones in this and many future lives.

One of the most dangerous views that a wrong Teacher can teach is the illusion that the practitioners are superior and better than others when they start to achieve some results. Those arrogant views that make ones become egotistic and haughty will destroy all of their good karma and results and will set them back quickly in their practice. The right teachers will teach their students to be humble and aware of their own egos, be careful of their inflated sense of self especially after achieving higher results in meditation.

Another dangerous and wrong viewpoint is neglecting the ultimate goal of achieving Selflessness (Anatta). Selflessness or the No-Self Doctrine is the core of Buddhism. Without the understanding and direction towards achieving Selflessness, ones can easily go astray from the correct path or stop in midway.

Neglecting the Law of Karma is another dangerous viewpoint. Without the belief and strong understanding of Karma, ones will not try to create a lot of good deeds. Good karma is essential to everyone’s lives and also their meditation practices. In meditation, good karma is a vital substance that nurtures one’s Awareness and Concentration stage. Without a whole lot of good karma, ones will shortly lose their meditative results.

Understanding this, we vow to wholeheartedly faithful to the original teachings of Buddha. We will humbly pray Him to guide us to always have the right understanding in his teachings. Once we have the Right Understanding and views in Buddhism, we won’t be driven by the wrong views in our subconsciousness.

 

Authorized by Thích Chân Quang

Source Facebook Buddha Everywhere

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