IV. The Tathagata Meditation
In 1972, I came to the Phu Huu hamlet of the Vinh Ich village, Ninh Hoa district of the province of Khanh Hoa, looking for a mountainous area. He went to see the place and was very pleased; I submitted a permit for building a Buddhist Temple to local and county officials of Khanh Hoa, which was approved. In the same year, He ordered to build a small house with wooden wall taken from the forest and with a thatched roof on the mountain slope; local people used to call it the Forrest Dharma School. Every Sunday morning, He went to see the place, taking repose and preaching the dharma as well as practicing meditation there. He has celebrated a great ceremony to give it the name of Adi Forrest Meditation Institute. Adi was the first ancient Buddha in this saha world.
In 1975, the Vietnamese political situation fully reversed. His wife and two true disciples lived and farmed there. In 1979, the communist authorities levied the agricultural taxes by recall. The mountainous land was only suitable for growing potato and corn, which is insufficient to nourish the whole family; no other crops are possible to grow there. He had insufficient money to pay the taxes, and knowing well the authorities’ intention, He, therefore, wrote a letter to offer the land to the government. According to the local authorities, the land will be distributed equally to the all people for cultivating, but in reality, it is divided among three people: The village secretary, the village president and the chief of the village police.
One day, at the Central Highness Assembly at the number 42 of the Hong Bang Street, Nha Trang, He had told me something: In the future, with faithful disciples you should establish a Buddhist Temple where the courses are organized in 3 months, or 6 months according to their wishes. During the course, from Saturday evening to Sunday evening the disciples are allowed to return to live with their families. On Sunday evenings, they must be present at the temple to learn the doctrine of meditation and review their conducts. Finishing a course, the true disciples returning to their families will know what the practical way of training the Tathagata dharma right in their families is.
Please remember not to allow them to leave their home too long and continually live in the Buddhist temple. Why? In this era of modern science, they have to get in touch with society, with the family in order to penetrate into the joy and the sorrow, the happiness and unhappiness, the gain and the loss and have and have not. Either at work or at home, they could realize and penetrate all dharma, human beings would become calmer, more intelligent or they could settle public and private affairs more righteously. A conscious man can correct his bad habits, give up his hot- temper of irritability, dispute and quarrel, he gets insight from the meditation. Without meditation, it would be very difficult to prevent the breakout of bad habits, cruel characters. An impure man settles everything with less clairvoyance than the one who is calmer, having no more irritability, anxiety and sorrow.
The meditation sect: the awakened one has to convert the devotee according to his mind-consciousness; the practice of meditation does not depend on the knowledge for literature. Because the meditation subject has no writing, the Buddhist master must be the one who knows thoroughly the motion of the mind-consciousness. So he has to choose the way of teaching meditation according to the true disciple. The meditation penetrates deeply into the instinct, looking for the main radiating force to be the path of enlightenment in order to get the insight of all dharma idealistically: the universe and the body and mind are only unique constitution.
The Tathagata Meditation:
“Only the Mahavairocan Tathagata Buddha can manage adequately the Tathagata Meditation, the other manifestations which are similar to the Buddha can only follow the supremacy to guide the realization of the Tathagata Meditation. They use the circumstance-adaptation procedure to guide the bodhisattva to practice for the conduct and establish the group until the bodhisattva acquires the supreme Tathagata Meditation. Therefore, in the present life or in the next, if the faithful disciple can meet a Buddha who guides him in conformity with the Tathagata Meditation, that is the right Tathagata Meditation. Otherwise, it is difficult to attain Tathagata Meditation.”–TV
2538 years ago, the Blessed One has taught the Tathagata Meditation by the order of the Mahavairocan Tathagata Buddha - In His return to the world, He has also executed the supremacy to guide the practice of the Tathagata Meditation. According to the bodhisattvas root faculty, the Buddha guided Him through every way in order to help him attain the Tathagata Meditation; otherwise, it is hard for him to succeed in the Tathagata Meditation. From the arahants to living creatures though acquiring the meditation, that is not the Tathagata Meditation.
“Moreover, when the faithful disciple meets a bodhisattva, he will first create under the appellation of Tathagata Meditation. Secondly, he follows strictly the main ideas of the Tathagata Meditation, using all manners to teach the disciple. Later, the disciple acquires the meditation subject that is not the attested Tathagata Meditation, but the bodhisattva one. If it is the arahants, pratyeka, sravaka, ordinary man or a heretic who finds out this Tathagata Meditation, write and preach it to the disciple followers, strictly following the main ideas and attain a result. This result corresponds to their degree of arahants, pratyeka, sravaka, ordinary men or heretic.”–TV
The rank of bodhisattvas and great bodhisattvas are still close to the Tathagata Meditation, because they have the seal opened by the Buddha. For the arahants, pretyeka, sravaka, they have met the Buddha to be taught the Tathagata Meditation, too. But their practice is below the degree of receiving the Tathagata Meditation. Therefore, if they guide Buddhist disciples in the practice, it is according to their attainment of awakeness or ultimate awareness standing that the disciples can receive some result.
For the ordinary monks or heretics, the meditation is far, too far from the truth, thus their meditation is only a matter of form and subjected to the wrong way. Although, they have followed the book of Tathagata Meditation, but because of their mind-consciousness that controls the manifestation of all dharma, their meditation could not develop in conformity with the spirit of the true supreme. Therefore, the Buddhas have to transmit to the future generations the secret sealed meditation to offer them a basis of solid faith, avoiding the wrong way of the meditation.
Tathagata Meditation is a very wonderful subject passed down mind-by-mind. It is perfect all over from the intimate sealed attestation to the matchless supreme. The enlightened Buddha by the order of the Mahavairocan Tathagata Buddha has secretly passed down to the bodhisattvas while the holy disciples are relying on the guidance of the bodhisattvas. In His return to the world, the Blessed One Lord Supreme Maitreya has regularized the religion in such an order. The true disciples embracing Buddhism either in the provinces or at the Central are equally passed down by Himself, the Tathagata Meditation. Later, the bodhisattvas who are nourished followed and are given supplementary care of their progress in meditation. The bodhisattvas have also received his order to transmit the meditation, to write sutra and to teach the dharma when he was alive.
The Tathagata Meditation can neither use the reason by writing to explain nor to study thus comprehending the Tathagata eye-store, like those who are not yet enlightened. They have difficulty in understanding because their Minds are falsely running after the mind-consciousness which generates the karma consciousness. So they consider falseness to be their way, making the disciple unable to recognize the Tathagata dharma. Therefore, the more they use reasoning to interpret and the argument called meditative argument to resolve, the farther they depart from the truth.
For the disciples who practice through fixed thought they are ordained at the lowest rank in the Buddha sphere, unable to return to the Tathagata Meditation, and are further losing their way. The meditation disciples have to notice that the physical nature is originally quiet in nature and perfectly equal, so they have to practice until acquiring the dharma nature, and review and examine their physical nature in order to go precisely to the Tathagata Meditation. That is the practice with a meditative mind by which we can see the seed karma of each meditator with his consciousness karma in order to lean on and relieve it. The karma is countless and makes living creatures caught in the life. It also depends on the consciousness karma; there are different degrees of attainment in practice.
In the time of the Blessed One Lord Supreme Maitreya, he has used the orthodox of the Blessed One Sakyamuni Buddha to establish the compass for the true disciple, helping them to follow the Tathagata Meditation without error. Here is what I heard.
- “Using the Tathagata to establish the way
- Using the non-clinging to establish the main idea
- Using the enlightenment to establish the essence Practicing the vow to establish the application.”–TV
While the patriarchs succeeding from the arahants, the pratyeka to the sravaka called the patriarch is transmitting meditation as follows:
- “Eliminating the false mindfulness to establish the way
- Using the no- false hope to establish the main idea
- Using the purity to establish the essence
- Using the mind to establish the application.”–TV
The patriarchs can conduct the sitting meditator to attain at most the pure mind equivalent to the venerables saints and sages that are from the awareness, the great awareness to the ultimate awareness.
It is the bodhisattvas recognized by the Buddhas to acquire the supreme enlightenment and enter the samadhi right concentration that can educate the patriarchs and faithful disciples to attain the enlightenment, being closer to the Tathagata Meditation of the Buddhas.
The Tathagata Meditation of the Blessed One has been passed down from mind-to-mind. Today, the Lord Supreme Maitreya just coming to the world has also preached on the physical nature, and the Buddhist practice is aimed at knowing the meditation nature that is also the dharma nature.
Because the meditative physical nature has indulged to every wish which was the wrong mindfulness, from every false hope of the meditator, the Tathagata Meditation is divided into six heretic meditative ways called the six doors of meditation subject.
Because of the false arising, there are six meditation subjects. The Blessed One Lord Supreme Maitreya has today taught meditators the sitting meditation with a non-clinging base, the reception of the Tathagata store is all over in order to attain the Tathagata Meditation. Otherwise, being clung or sunk in the meditation without fully knowing the six different ways, they will be lost in the fairy way, deity way without being completely liberated.
The six subjects of meditation result from different desires. Here is the Blessed One Lord Supreme Maitreya's teaching that I heard:
1. Meditation of Martial Art and Psychic Powers
- “Using the efficaciousness to nourish the spirit consciousness to establish the sect
- Using the dharma electricity, divine electricity to establish the main ideas.
- Using the sitting meditation force to seize and to establish the essence.
- Using the calmness and vegetarian fruits to establish the application.”–TV
When the disciple likes this subject of meditation, he believes it to be the highest truth, to which no other subject can be comparable. In some countries, the most talented meditator can dry out the 7 wet towels covering his body. Elsewhere, the meditator is sewed to exercise the muscles or to prepare the spell used in the tattoo and to train the martial art. While in Vietnam it is the collection of the quintessence from the Seven Mountains.
2. The Impromptu Meditation
- “Using the Uposatha, faithful worship to establish the way.
- Using the writing for penetrating in the body and impromptu poems to establish the main ideas.
- Using the calm sitting meditation and supernatural saint to establish the essence
- Using drums, castanets and ceremonies to establish the application.”–TV
The disciples, who prefer the impromptu meditation, making their impromptu speech and don’t realize anything happening outside, immediately consider it to be the most absolute truth. There are, in this way, too many forms of practice because of the different degrees of superstitions such as the praying for the bodhisattva-mother for the great saint for the divine fairies the falling into trance the penetration in the body . . . All are based on the improved writing eve.
3. Meditation of Deity Power
- “Using the brilliant efficacious deity to establish the way
- Using the faithful worship to establish the main ideas.
- Using the laborious sitting meditation with faith to establish the essence.
- Using the purity of the shrine deity and drums castenets to establish the application.”–TV
This subject of meditation belongs to the school of deity and saints, based primarily on the efficaciousness and miracle. The good prophesy makes the disciples sincerely supplicate in the hope of being supported by deities and saints to have good fortune and believe it to be the absolute truth of highest value. No other meditation can be comparable.
4. Meditation of Man and Heaven
- “Using the ascension to the heaven world to establish the way.
- Using the thinking and exercise of the quintessence to establish the main ideas.
- Using the calm study of the sitting-meditation to establish the essence.
- Using fine and noble vowing speech to establish the application.”–TV
Nowadays, this school of meditation has been highly appreciated in many countries around the world; and it is under study. Learned men like to first seek for a way to foster their mind, to feed their body and prevent from diseases. They make use of sitting-meditation to take in the divine electricity, disembodied of the soul to make the deity quintessence mutually sympathized with the spiritual communication and the heaven, brightening the universe. Secondly, they use the sitting meditation to study Buddhism, aiming to get insight into the metaphysical knowledge. Today Zen and Yoga are practiced in Japan while the theosophy is widely popular in South Vietnam.
5. Meditation of Stillness and Solitude.
- “Using rigorous disciplines to establish the way.
- Using the quiet practice and the separation from the love and family to establish the main ideas.
- Using the sitting meditative begging for food to establish the essence.
- Using merits and meritorious deeds to establish the application.”–TV
This way is organized similarly to that of the meditative way of the patriarchs with the same dressing as the time when the Buddha was still alive with a bowl on their hands and a serious walking. It is primarily the going to homelessness. However, because it goes astray and far behind the time, while all social activities are much developed, the monks are unable to execute the rigorous discipline, resulting in the failure of the way. Because of the confusion of the main ideas, the essence and the application, it becomes a quiet practice called the solitary quiet meditation, which relies on the quiet enlightenment.
the quiet enlightenment requires the abandonment of the ego and self-possession to accomplish the enlightened quietness while not leaving it to be awakened. They carry instead the form and the sound called dharma form, dharma sign, making their practice way an illusion of the Buddha form, which is obscured, solitary, quiet, and the vagueness of the truth.
Other ways still follow strictly those main ideas, but they find a way of dissolving stupidity and attachment, rigorous disciplines according to their degree, called the primary way.
6. Meditation of Fairy Path
- “Using the forest by leaving home to establish the way.
- Using the pure and quiet mind to establish the main ideas.
- Using the sitting meditation and leaving desire and love to establish the essence.
- Using the austere life with vegetarian diet to establish the application.”–TV
The fairy path often has fixed thoughts; the thinking depending on the root-faculty and the degree results in nobility, rudeness and delicacy in the practice of the sitting meditation. The fairy way of meditation likes beautiful and noble dharma; they choose and select before entering into the practice, going to a remote place in the deep forest; others getting tired with earthly life, go to a high mountain to break away from the secular world practicing the meditation and exercising magic power. They are rare in our time; only some Buddhist followers who have not yet understood adequately and have been caught in the wrong practice and in spite of their great faith, would have to receive the blessed rewards of men and devas and to fall into the fairy way.
Those who are wrongly entering into these six subjects of meditation would be confined in the four forms: divine form, human form, living creatures form and longevity form. They all have been mistaken from the former to our days.
The divine form is the form of clinging to fixed thoughts. The disciples choose between the good and the evil, avoid the honest and the dishonest, select to take or to refuse their practice and lead to the fairy way accordingly.
The human forms usually conserve their individualities and personalities and therefore, they are usually attached. Love and hatred are interwoven. They often lose their way in spite of their belief in the Buddha.
Living creatures’ forms: they vary a great deal in their practice, which is now very fervent and then tired with it. The Buddha has taught us to neither increase nor decrease in order to help living creatures to be free from either increase or decrease, returning to the non-regression. Receding, they fall into hell; increasing, they enter into the fairy way.
The clinging seed forms: they often believe them- selves to be right and good. Therefore, the Buddha has taught them to leave their self and practice until reaching the true self.
The Buddhas' sutras are passed down clearly with abundant commandments. The disciples have to practice getting adequate labor and merits, relying on the four forms to understand thoroughly, and avoiding the clinging and the wrong way.
7. The Essential Nature
The essential nature inherent in human beings is perfect and clairvoyant, but because of their ambition, human beings are running after their hope and their thirst from one limit to another. For that reason, the essential nature becomes a particular seed nature divided into four different degrees called: living creatures’ seed nature, bodhisattva’s seed nature, Buddha’s seed nature and Tathagata’s seed nature.
“The Buddha’s seed nature in its hidden state is often confused and called Buddha nature, in the enlightenment it is the nature of the Buddha.
The Tathagata is immobile and hidden and the bodhisattva has to use the immense immobile nature to observe the Tathagata and once detected, it is called Tathagata nature or Tathagata eye-store.
Everything is possible and accessible to the essential nature, it needs no help. If we know how to exploit it, the essential nature will be useful in all things. Human beings who therefore, practicing the Buddhism, rely on the essential nature to dissolve stupidity will be enlightened. Human beings practicing the sitting meditation rely on the theoretical study of nature to understand the meditation nature. Thanks to the meditation nature; they can communicate with the three worlds, fully know the three thousand and avoid stupidity. They should not falsely hope to see the three thousand, not expect in vain to attain the three worlds by disembodying their soul and entering into the scene. Though the practitioner attained the three worlds thoroughly knew the three thousand by wrong expectation and illusion leading to getting rid of the essential nature, which results in false expectation. They are but a mist.”–TV
The wise man practicing the Buddhist meditation has firstly to review himself from his spirit of practice to his bad karma, consciousness karma, faculty karma, and defilement karma, fetter karma. They have barred the practice in the way we ought to dissolve them. We try our best to look for the master to help us dissolve if we are unable to do it. We have to dissolve all bad natures, which can do harm to practice and make us not believe in it. If we do not practice vowing, we will dissolve and readjust in order that the essential nature might work well. This leads to boundless achievements.
We can thus recognize our essential nature to make it to be in conformity with the universal truth.
There are four features in the living creatures’seed nature:
Increase- Decrease- Imperfection- Purity (as previously explained)
For living creatures, they often take shelter in the calmness to be content with their old age that is just like a patient taking a sedative to relieve the pain. The disciples have to digest an insult, to be patient, to make concession to avoid hard competition; that is the pure land action. In the first stage, the sitting meditator is often chaotically shaken by false thought so he has to make use of the purity to clear away error and fallacy. Eliminating fallacy and error and lighting the wrong way, that is the pure enlightenment. The disciple has to practice the enlightened purity in order to understand the Buddhist nature or dharma nature, which is only one. Otherwise, if the disciple does not practice the enlightened purity and he uses purity to practice purity as the other disciples of the final law period can do, he gradually enters into the isolated calmness.
The enlightened purity is alive, active and perfect.
Because it is based on all the dharma while the isolated calmness is caught in the living creature’s world and becomes thus imperfectly pure. Those falling into the calm and isolated meditation door will be obscurely dreamy and generate in their head an emptiness that makes them very uneasy and even foolish. When the disciple practices wrongly the meditation it is more and more distant from the true essence, while good regulation and control of the increase - decrease - imperfection - purity are the four precious pearls. If the disciple practices by his own will and generated wrong thoughts, unable to regulate and control the meditation it will lead him to the toxicity and the more he practices, the more he is empoisoned.
If the disciple gradually understands his essential nature, he performs his meditation perfectly and his practice will be lively all-round. In Buddhism, the truth is there is no dharma of the good and the evil, the good and the bad, the honesty and the dishonesty. Only the disciples who do not know the active and lively dharma and only read the sutra without dissolving through practice would not fully understand the meanings of the sutra.
The existence nature is continually active. How the false hope of the sitting meditation practitioner is, how his wishes, his virtue and wisdom are the meditation will express them accordingly to his nature. Believing them to be a meditative power, the practitioner becomes attached and sunk in them. The Blessed One Maittreya has reminded:
“The meditative nature depends on what he wants, follows what he wisheses and appears as true as it is. He believes it to be truly powerful and becomes attached to the meditation nature.”–TV
The Buddha’s Mind and the living creatures’ mind are not different, but they are not the same; because living creatures do not coincide with the Buddha mind they have not yet become Buddhas. Therefore, the disciple has to lean on the meditative nature without being in error. That is why the bodhisattvas then know the manifestation of the meditative nature according to their wishes. Therefore, the bodhisattvas have then realized with great compassion, with will and courage, realizing the mediatative nature and transformed into Tathagata Buddha.
For the immense universe, human beings all over are called the Tathagata’s constitution. For the disciple, his private nature results from the essence and is thus called essential nature. When practicing the sitting meditation, he has the meditative nature, which sometimes produces the bad and is called bad nature; when its action is good it is called good nature. It is merely the essential nature. Those who lean on the essential nature to practice adequately their abilities and merits will be naturally able to perceive. Therefore, they are assimilated to the universe called the Tathagata constitution. The devotee practiced the meditation, so he follows the footprint of the bodhisattvas who have practiced the dharma in the past. Formerly the Buddhas have the compassion and wished for saving living creatures, and the bodhisattva of today also follows the same wishes in order to be thoroughly enlightened and able to save living creatures.
“Why is the meditation sect passed down from mind to mind, from ultimate awareness to true enlightenment?”–TV
Because the meditation sect only specializes in essential nature with perception, it does not make use of writing. Even though using writing, it is only a pointing finger aiming at acquiring the insight. Therefore, the disciple is based on the meditation nature to understand his nature. He is not receiving the meditation to be enlightened. That is why it is called the essential mind. Those who acquire perfectly the understanding transmitted from mind to mind can attain enlightenment.
The meditator leaving his essential nature will certainly not know the meditative nature; furthermore, by creating fixed thoughts, ordinary thoughts or by studying, thinking, and predicting, he is distorting the Tathagata Meditation.
8. Sitting -Meditation Procedure
“The first thing to do in the sitting meditation is to pray to Buddha. The devotee washes his hands, his face and preferably takes a bath, then burns incense on the Buddha altar and prostrates three times before the altar. Afterwards he goes to his home or private room.
The practitioner sits semi cross-legged with his two soles upwards, the right hand underneath, the left hand above, the two arms straightened, with two palms upward below the thumbs, between the semi cross-legged soles. After a moment of calm sitting, he begins to pray to the Buddha, 10 times each utterance, when he does not know by heart, he can recite only Namo Supreme Pure King Buddha for about 15 minutes. The praying is performed by mind without words and occurs only in thinking. After praying, he makes a bow.”–TV
8.1 The Buddhist’s Prayers
1- Namo Eastern Land Medicine Gem Halo Tathagata.
2- Namo Western Blissful Paradise Amitabha Buddha.
3- Namo Present Blessed One Sakyamuni Buddha.
4- Namo Precious Sutra-Store Buddha.
5- Namo Supreme Pure King Buddha.
6- Namo Dharma-Store Superior Congregation of Buddha Maha Bodhisattvas.
7- Namo Multi-Treasure Tathagata.
8- Namo Supreme Pure King Mahavairocana Buddha.
9- Namo Lord Supreme Maitreya Buddha.
10- Namo Ultimate Accomplishment Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva.
11- Namo Mahavairocana Tathagata Buddha.
12- Namo Manjughosa Buddha.
13- Namo Dharma Protector Bodhisattvas with Unanimous Vows
14- Namo Dragon Deities, Dharma Protectors and Maha Bodhisattvas' Vows.
The Supreme Pure King
(Incarnation of Lord Supreme Maitreya Buddha)
Note: sitting meditation and reciting “Namo Supreme Pure King Buddha” (7 times)
Reciting very slowly, breathing harmoniously in conformity with the Mind’s prayers.
8.2 Disposition of the Sitting Place
“The devotee sits on a mattress, preferably, on a bed or a plank-bed with a mattress. He should not sit on the bare ground without a mattress. It is better that he has a room or a hermitage of his own. It will be noted that he ought to burn incense on the Buddha Altar. Otherwise, he should bow three times before he sits meditating and then he starts praying to the Buddha.”–TV
8.3 Sitting Meditation
“When praying to the Buddha, the devotee should wear a robe or a traditional thin suit. He would make a bow after praying to the Buddha and then begins the semi-crossed legged sitting. Before the practice, he should change his dress, wearing “shorts”, loosing the belt; for a tight belt will not allow a free circulation of dharma, which brings about a lumbago or a bellyache. With the dharma-sitting-meditation, you should be quite at ease. After making a thorough arrangement, the practitioner tries to get a peaceful mind entering the meditation in order to arrive at a thoughtless state of mind.”–TV
8.4 How to Enter Into Meditation?
“Entering into meditation does not mean that the devotee’s spirit penetrates deep into the meditation. It does not imply a complete silence without sensing anything around, either. The devotee in meditation does not resemble a corpse at all. Such old-age understandings are wrong ones that must be nullified.
The practitioner when caught in meditation feels like being afloat on the cloud or in mid-air. However, he is aware of what is happening around while his inner stillness remains with him, as well. When the practitioner sees a scene of some sort in meditation, this scene no matter how it is clear or vague depends on his labor of practice for the pure calmness. The practitioner, who can’t see anything, will have a feeling of floating or being drunken in meditation. Those devotees should try to do their best to keep hold of their goodwill when their labor grows full they will arrive at their wishes.
The meditation practitioners always take tenacity and courage for their target as the travelers get to their destination after a long and strenuous journey. When their body and mind and mouth do not work harmoniously, these practitioners feel now pleasant then extremely unpleasant. The practitioners must always keep to their perseverance and diligence in order to obtain the enlightenment. The practitioner’s mind is such that a night of true meditation would do away with laziness and tardiness.
The practitioner should be aware of the temperature and the sitting-place for meditation and put on suitable clothes according as it is hot or cold.”–TV
9. The patriarchs’ establishing procedures of Zen.
“The meditation way accounts for 28 patriarchs besides the other enlightened ones. Very popular were the meditation sects of the dynasties of Le, Ly and Tran of Vietnam.
The patriarchs, in accordance with the spirit of the meditation way, taught the devotees how to be faithful to their vows, associated with wisdom, that are the essentials of the meditation. Those who lack these two primary vows can’t become meditative practitioners at all. ”–TV
These twenty-eight patriarchs came down to us from the time when the Sakyamuni Buddha has started His teachings from the Patriarch Mahakassapa to the 28th Patriarch.
In the Dharma-Ending Age of the year 1956, Lord Supreme Maitreya Buddha has focused His attention on the supreme meditation. To the request of the true Buddhists, He has made His decision on establishing the Dharma-Store Supreme in 1965, which was regularized later under the name of Vietnamese Buddhist Dharma-Store. There have been about three thousand true Buddhist followers until the year 1975, but they have no meditation monasteries. The true disciples, as a result, have made their own houses the temporary dharma schools ranging from the Central to all the Provinces in South Vietnam. They wear the yellow robes during the celebrations as the renunciation. Nevertheless, they are dressed as the lay people when they go to work for their living. He has made use of the Buddhist dharma as non-separation from the secular world and established the four orders as follows:
- Believers: Those who have just entered into Buddhism, and they are incorporated into a collectivety that fits them after a judgment and evaluation.
-Caretaker: Those who take care of the dharma school, incense burning and offerings.
- Dharma Protectors: Those who are responsible for the teachings.
- Attendants: Those who serve the Chief Monk
On The Esoteric Supreme Origin.
When practicing the esoteric supreme origin meditation sitting, the root-faculty appears correspondingly. The disciples are taught how to sit meditating every morning before work from 30 minutes to 45 minutes. Especially in the dharma-store meditation, when the devotees are laboring in the meditation, their bodies will vibrate at the seventh night in spite of their slowest faculties. They will realize a strong electric current running throughout their bodies. Their heads and necks are shaking; their bodies are moving and trembling. These phenomena are called the esoteric supreme, also known as the esoteric dharma, which can do away with their karma. The devotees should keep calm before these queer phenomena. It is owing to the esoteric dharma that the practitioners can correct their nature, observe their bad habits contravening, and dissolve their mind. The esoteric gradually changes at each stage according to the practitioner’s root nature in the past, which is now appearing correspondingly: sometimes through the talisman and sometimes through the art of fighting. Be careful not to allow other people to see your practice because these outsiders can’t understand the esoteric dharma and they will criticize, which will make them trouble. Accordingly, the devotees should take care of: their discreet bodies, discreet mouths and discreet ideas
The sitting-meditation is essentially to give rise to wisdom in order to relieve the stupidity. Those who know how to practice, how to realize the doctrine, will not get rid of meditation. On the other hand, if they practice meditating, they won’t leave the doctrine in order to obtain the enlightenment
In this Final Law Period, the Blessed One Lord Supreme Maitreya has given rise to a religion whose creator is THE SUPREME PURE KING. The leading ideas of this dharma-store are the virtue, the doctrine and sitting-meditation respectively. They result in the liberation through wisdom.
Only a few of them attested by the master are to be venerables, dharma protectors who practiced meditating according to the principles and orders of arahants, pratyeka, Sravaka and there is only a bodhisattva who led the meditation practice designated by him. The remaining great number of disciples in the dharma-store is not yet attested by the master.
The same situation was seen in the time of the Blessed One. Among His 1250 true disciples only 10 venerables remained with a few bodhisattvas in this saha world. Not all of them succeeded in spreading the esoteric dharma at all. Even when the Blessed One Lord Supreme Maitreya was in this world there was a lazy disciple who proclaimed himself boastfully to be blissfully delighted and considered himself equal to him. He calmly shook hands with him, showing a chair for him to sit on; but he didn’t realize it owing to the blindness of his stupidity. He left no writes attesting him to be the dharma protector. Accordingly, he would never become a venerable.
In the meditation knowledge, there are four levels of understanding from the exploration of the practical truth to the thorough acquisition as follows:
10. The Primary Meditation
“Those of the primary meditation rely on their competence and virtue of dissolution or their reason to realize that the Buddhist Dharma which, always attached to the world enlightenment could understand and see and hear what is not perceived by the secular people in this world. The practitioners of the primary meditation can have a better understanding. As an idle one pulled down by the karma and caught in binding circumstances, we wish we could escape from this vicious circle. But the more we try to get away from it the more it runs closer after us. We are all possessed by the dharma with thousands of ways. We try our best to free ourselves from the birth and to overcome the hindrance controlling the dharma in order to see and understand the Buddhist path. On the contrary, no sooner have our virtue and abilities at the primary meditation advanced further that we could have a fuller perception. It is the body and mind of ourselves that passes all the dharma. We ourselves give birth to the karma and there is no reason to complain of anybody accordingly. We tie ourselves with the birth and at the same time we claim an escape from it. Those who realize it can go up to the secondary meditation without losing their way to the meditation sect.”–TV
11. The Secondary Meditation
“Regulation is an important meditation precept leading to the discreet body, the discreet mouth and discreet idea. It is through the discreet body-mouth-idea that the meditation can regulate the motion of all the dharma. Why? It is because the body in meditation is moving and transforming, in one moment it is smaller, in another it is bigger your eyes can see the mountain, river and the scenery; your ears can hear the divine music; but your thoughts should not be overjoyed, your mouth should not speak during the process of the meditation because that will keep you caught in the self-attachment."–TV
During the meditation, plenty of beautiful scenery may unfold before your eyes. Now there may be lights and clouds, now your body expands larger and larger; and at a time too your body seems to contract to a point; you can hear the heavenly music. These are unexpected manifestations of meditation that you should not be overjoyed at. Most of the practitioners, lacking the guide of an orthodox master, become attached to it creating one of the six types of meditation above-mentioned and they are getting away from the Tathagata Meditation. On seeing several forms of manifestation of the meditation the practitioner should not let it out, he must keep the discreet body-mouth-idea. Each meditator, according to his root karma, has a particular manifestation. Some begin to box during the meditation, if being attached to it that is the supernatural power martial-art. Others naturally know the secret of the talisman of all ways; they should not be overjoyed at it avoiding the passive meditation.
“Those of the secondary meditation have to recognize: most of them mistake one another, because of their different scenery-inducing sentiments, resulting in disagreement. Each of them conservatively declares oneself to be good and right, which leads to the frequent discord independently of one’s will. The secondary meditation disciple perfectly knows that these result from “acquisition” accidents and that acquisition depends on each individual, and also on his degree and position. Furthermore it is partially influenced by one's career. The acquisition is founded on these two bases: the lovely favorable acquisition and the hateful unfavorable acquisition. The acquisition in every individual and in every class results in disputes and competitions:
Life has countless faces and the earth countless directions.
The King Buddha and the Buddhas all have a unique source of enlightenment.
The manifestation of the acquisition is an eternal truth.
With a Mind free from passions, how can we be attached to the sorrow?
The second sitting meditator acquires a meditation nature; the meditation dharma has appeared correspondingly to the expectation of his mind and opinion. When the mind and opinion expect deities and saints the meditation dharma appears in deities and saints. Sometimes there is a corresponding apparition without expectation. Not knowing that, it is the acquisition the practitioner erroneously realizes about the wishes. As for a second meditation disciple, he considers it to be the corresponding apparition of the meditation nature and that is not wrong. Why? It is because the meditation is a matter in which the cultivation of the practical truth results in a meditation-mind; otherwise all are fictitious self-appellations. There is thus no mistake.
From the old time to the present day, people are losing their way from the dharma because: they are practicing, as they like, without the guide of the basic sealed decision. Why? It is because by following the sealed decision they would fall in the dogma, while following their wishes they will be disoriented, few of them could practice correctly to the time of sitting meditation in order to attain the four faultless and ceaseless meditations. Though attaining the four faultless and ceaseless meditations the disciples still belong to the fairy way meditation, they are not as perfect as the Tathagata Meditation degree.
I am strongly confirming today that the way to the meditation subject is a sacred vein of the practical truth of the meditation mind. While the sitting meditation aspect is a way of creating abilities and virtue, supporting the development of the meditation mind, certainly neither by relying on the form meditation to be enlightened, nor on the sound in the heaven to be awakened, only the meditation mind, the enlightenment mind and the natural mind of the essential mind could thoroughly know every seed-mind and the enlightenment completely.
For the meditation way, all things in the Final Law Period are the zero of basic awareness, all or most of the practitioners of meditation are making use of the insight meditation of form and sound, which correspondingly appear, and considering it to be his goal. They become thus unsuitable to the principal sect and develop the telepathy, the meditation with the leaving-soul therapy meditation, study meditation attaining the saint and deity degree. This is very clear for the second meditation disciples. Why? It is because the meditation nature is moving and acquiring accordingly to the false mind, to the wishes of practice. Few of them attach an importance to the wisdom and the penetration to nature the meditation mind.
The second meditation practitioner, by regulating his body-mouth-idea, has gone from the mean consciousness of census to the generous temper of joy and detachment. With a discreet mouth, he only expresses into words when it is truly necessary. When it is not the time of speaking, he keeps silent to inquire the reality and only speaks at the due time, and due moment. His nature mind is so simple, but he can perfectly attain the meditation nature. It is by such a maturity and discretion that he can accomplish the dharma precept in order to penetrate every dharma sphere, he is thus named the regulator great man and judiciously goes up to the third meditation.”–TV
12. The Third Meditation
“The master of both the supreme being and all the creatures. The practitioners of the third meditation are immaculate. Their mental abilities have undergone the ultimate end. They recall neither the past nor the future; they only keep to the present as their target. As a result, they can realize the meditation nature, get insight into all the living creatures, which appear and disappear at a time in a certain circumstance. They live collectively a life, inner and outer, intimate and then hostile. Their body and face keep on changing continuously with either happiness or unhappiness. This change results from the very understanding. Hence, the transformation comes into being.
The change occurs in conformity with his personality, said the practitioner of the third meditation. In the Three Thousand Great Thousand Worlds, each place, each scene from the devas to the dragon, men, the maras monsters, birds and animals, countlessly; all of them have the particular characters of their own. All the ways they use to communicate each other such as gesture, deportment, speaking, roaring... Are quite similar to those used by a community overjoyed at singing, loving, dancing, arguing and fighting etc. When in disagreement they consider it to be wrong; but when being in good accord, they consider such a thing to be right. The hearing-seeing of each world and each scene are contrary to that of the meditation-minded practitioners. It is because the third meditation practitioners who make use of the enlightenment to see the form while all the others use the form to see the enlightened form. Therefore, they meet with difficulties in recognizing the enlightened form.
Those of the third meditation while examining themselves on the basis of the cultivation of the meditation mind illuminating their character erring in the acquisition, said: how wonderful the virtue and the ignorance are! Now i just realized it. In presence of my body all the disciples stand in awe of it and call me a master. But they could not understand me at all and in the meantime, my whole body and mind are transforming into evils or playing the mara or monster who can recognize me in order to realize me?
The third meditation practitioners keep on saying, to tell the truth, I have realized the transformation. When being transformed into the Buddha, I haven’t rejoiced in this name. When being transformed into devil or mara, I am not afraid of it. I usually realize in myself a pure characterization, considering the transformation to be an adequate food; hence, my mind is not caught with fear, my idea with no attachment, my conscience with satisfactory understanding because it is I who transform all of them.
I have never emerged from meditation. But due to the need of being normal, I ought to do so. I do not accept the entrance into meditation, but I illuminate the eternal calm light to become the entrance into meditation. For me, no place is right or wrong because I have many times got into and out of all the worlds. In one place there is fullness, in another, it is emptiness; there is plenty in some places and deficiency in others; therefore there is a subject- matter taken here and a course given there. For that reason, I have never thought of the practice as a wish of mine, I am only afraid of being caught in attachment.
The third meditation practitioner is precisely the one, which has almost attained the prajna mind and come the third meditation to the super frequency of the meditation mind, respectfully relying on the Tathagata to accomplish perfectly their vow; therefore, they are called the master of the supreme being and all the creatures.”–TV
13. The Fourth Faultless and Ceaseless Meditation
“When the blessed one was alive, few of the sitting meditators attained the rank of the fourth faultless and ceaseless meditation, besides the blessed one; therefore, some of them have erroneously practiced and have to go to the great misconception, the damage results from the mistake on the emptiness.
This empty place is a place of the all-round brightness of the meditation called the fourth faultless and ceaseless meditation fully enlightened from the primary meditation to the all-round enlightenment.
He has uttered these words; the master’s eyes seem to show respect for all the patriarchs. He nodded getting up with a long breath, and said:
“The layman cares for no reputation
He vows from the bottom of his heart
To convert all the human beings
He offers his life to the perfect bright
Whether known or unknown is his only way
The layman realizes the truth
Wouldn’t he entangle himself with this world?
He will be over whelmed with enjoyments
When the dharma school extends boundlessly” –TV