The forming of the enlightened essence: the essence shows the self-capability of each practitioner directly. If a practitioner is sitting for meditation but his or her self-capability and essential nature are not yet enlightened nor intending to achieve enlightenment, the meditative sitting is either useless or will create more errors of illusion and dreamy thoughts, which could leave the practitioner worse off than an ordinary, unpracticed person. Practicing is aiming to be aware of one’s self-ignorance and then dissolving it. If one does not dissolve one’s ignorance, one has never truly practiced a single day.
Therefore, Tathagata meditative sitting builds the principle without retention. The practitioner gradually progresses through dharmas of self-capability of self-enlightenment, the essential nature of solving erroneousness and intransigence. The sect, the principles, the essence, and the use are interconnected and collaborate with each other. When a practitioner vows to help living beings, he or she carries out this promise by using his or her behavior, Buddhist intelligence, language, Tao conduct, the four dharma integrations, and the six Pāramitā. All these actions turn out to be the means of assisting the practitioner in his or her practice toward achieving enlightenment.
The sect, principles, essence, and use of Tathagata meditation are the dharma of perfect salvation. Practitioners, from their moment of contemplative meditation to that of action, must have the direction of their way as a compass so they can rely on it to achieve liberation through knowing, seeing, and solving. It would be difficult to complete the accomplishment if just one of these goals were missing on his or her road of practice.
|TATHAGATA MEDITATION||PATRIARCHS’ TRANSMITTED MEDITATION|
|Follow Tathagata’s Manipulation to create the sect.
Act without retention to build the principles.
Use enlightenment to form the essence.
Perform the vows to establish the use.
|Eliminate false conceivability to establish the sect.
Use no initial illusory thought to create the principles.
Use the pure mind to form the essence.
Apply the Buddhist intelligence to set the use.
The practitioners examine the above table comparing Tathagata meditation with the Patriarchs’ transmitted meditation: the sect, the principles, the essence, and the use in both meditations have achieved the main objective, which is the means of Tao assisting, guiding the practitioners to obtaining their expected results in their meditative sitting.