Dharma Quote of the Week
Calm abiding is a powerful tool to be used in the service of enhancing the force of the wisdom realizing the emptiness of inherent existence so that it can overcome intellectually acquired and innate conceptions of inherent existence. The aim is to undo the ideational process behind afflictive emotions and then to remove even the appearance of inherent existence that prevents Buddhahood.
The details of the process of achieving calm abiding yield a picture of how the human condition is viewed in these traditions. Humans are trapped in a situation of repeated suffering not just by false assent to the seeming solidity of objects but also by a mind that is so mired in the extremes of either being too loose or too tight that attempts at correction push the mind between these two extremes. Also, the very structure of the ordinary mind prevents manifestation of certain chronic psychic problems, such that when this structure is disturbed by attempting to focus it and develop powers of concentration, deeply seated problems appear with greater force and others newly manifest.
Also, the mere fact that mindfulness and introspection need to be developed means that even though at present we have small versions of these, we have little idea of their potential--we are in a state of deprivation, sometimes arrogantly convinced of our wholeness and sometimes disparagingly reluctant to take cognizance of our potential. The system points to attainable states of mind that dramatically enhance the quality of life and that, of themselves, eliminate a host of problems, but whose attainment requires exposure to psychological pressures fraught with danger.
In one way, the systematic layout of stages gives the impression that mere application of the prescribed techniques would yield definite incremental results, but, in another way, examination of the complex techniques prescribed in the process of training yields a far different view of a mind that balks at improvement and enhancement, erects barriers, and places pitfalls in one's path. In such a context, we can appreciate the plethora of techniques employed in the tantric systems to attempt to counteract and undermine these forces. Whether they could be successful is no easy matter to determine; a claim that they definitely are would be superficial and do disservice to the complex vision of the human situation that a system such as that found in Action Tantra evinces.
~ From Tantric Techniques by Jeffrey Hopkins, published by Snow Lion Publications.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Dharma Quote - Jeffrey Hopkins
This was the dharma quote of the week from Snow Lion Publications.