|Three Hearts of Cultivation.
||[Nov. 15th, 2007|06:24 pm]
internal cultivation through motion and presence
this is an essay by Sifu Lin Zi Yi. Hope you like. |
Cultivation is a term used to describe the process of transformation, changing in other words. Likened to planting seeds, cultivation is basically the reaching into the mind, recognizing the causes of our outcomes, and pulling out that which is the cause of our suffering, indulgence in either good or bad experiences, views, desires, thoughts.
Many forms are under the term cultivation. Qi Gong practices of all kinds are considered manners of cultivation for they change what is current, and manifest a “new” mind. Here we will look into the foundation for cultivating anything as a way to reassure our practices will be directed towards a wholesome outcome.
One of the foremost important things to pay attention to in cultivation is behavior. What ever we put in mind, we experience, at least think we do. Our view of the world as we know it, is based on our 6 senses; touch, taste, hear, smell, see and mind. It is best to be aware of how we act with ourselves and others. Interaction directly influences our mind during our own personal and public cultivation. “Public” cultivation is when one is inter-relating with friends, family, work…basically socializing.
When alone, we can easily cultivate patience with most things, compassion as well. We converse with our own mind, inner dialogs, and contemplate thoughts, ideas; then we rationalize, or come to a point where we consider this knowing clearly of what we are thinking about, as wisdom. Interacting with others offers a chance to put, what we believe ourselves to have, into action. Usually, without a change in behavior we may find ourselves in the mind of feeling self-righteous and believing others to need our views and self-proclaimed wisdom.
This thought results in frustration if the others do not agree, accept and or integrate our ideas into their life. Sometimes we may feel a bit impatient with the pace of other people’s lifestyle and habits. Some may be slower than others in walking, driving, or even paying for things at the store. Sometimes people may present stubbornness in their relating to one in terms of personal relationships; family, spouse, children. When we interact with others and find our own personalities changing according to our relating with them, it is a sign something is not quite proper in our mind.
This is when we must question our views, feelings, conditions in our personal life. Being alone is easy, but being with others tests one’s views and attachments to them. Changing behavior is a key method of practice for ensuring a stable mind, controlled emotions and a healthy long life.
Cultivation of anything must have a foundation of Patience, Compassion and Wisdom. We will call these three the Three Hearts of Cultivation. Patience with one’s conditions, attachments and views, is patience with others attachments and views. Compassion with the conditions one’s attachments and views is compassion with others, and Wisdom within one’s mind, is wisdom with all minds.
Proper cultivation is only proper with a foundation of these three hearts. During one’s practice, one may be able to attain some abilities, yet the views of being special, better than others may arise. Because the cultivator is constantly facing the views the other beings have, it is best for them to keep humility close by, compassion for other’s conditions and the wisdom to know right view.
With wisdom comes the attainment of spiritual penetrations. Without wisdom, spiritual penetrations will become a hindrance to one’s attainment of enlightenment.
This is why it is safer for the cultivator, and the beings of their mind, to cultivate virtue as the foundation of all practices. How does one attain virtue? One cultivates virtue by being mindful of their character, behavior and afflictions; conditions of the mind, attachments, views.
Setting down a guideline for cultivation does not only mean being mindful of what one practices, but being persistent in cultivating wholesomeness. That means the cultivator may write down promises to themselves as to keep the mind in check so as not to revert to their bad habits of mind, behavior and character.
Promises, or vows, are only made to make sure the cultivator realizes the result of wholesome practice. What is the result to be realized other than enlightenment?
Attaining wisdom, inherent wisdom, is to know all things, but not to personally attach to them. Virtue keeps one off the path of what is viewed as negative thoughts, views, speech; negative lively hood, conduct, effort, mindfulness and concentration. Once one has begun to walk a path of virtue, wisdom begins to shine from them like the sun shines upon all living beings in the world. Virtue is one’s safeguard, one’s foundation and an expression of one’s true nature. Though the original, true nature of living beings is of no marks, true Thusness, when expressed through mind, it is in virtue.
Keep close to vows that benefit all beings. This is called right view, and functions in selflessness. Power, spiritual penetrations are nothing without wisdom, and do not mark the mind of a sage. It only keeps one in the ocean of their own conditions, and does not release the mind from personal attachments. Displaying one’s wisdom in view of having other’s praise is not true wisdom. Displaying of spiritual abilities is not proper conduct, if it is to gain praise and wonderment. These actions only cause confusion to ignorant minds, and eventually lead to outcomes of unpleasantness.
Whether one is of Buddhist or Daoist cultivation, keeping to virtue and moral is first and foremost. There is no going wrong with being in proper mindfulness of one’s own causes and conditions, conduct, speech, thoughts, effort, and concentration.
Patience equals Compassion, and Compassion equals Wisdom. If one is compassionate, they are patient, If one is patient, they attain wisdom. In either order, they all result in each other. Since they result in each other, they are all one and 3.
With this, I wish all cultivators to seek wholesomeness, and fulfill their own promises/vows which should function for the benefit of all living beings compassionately, which in turn benefits the cultivator.