From last issue: The first two of the Ten Advantages of the Perfection of Prajna.
3. One will not be caught up in the power of patience. This, too, means being unattached. One is not attached to the idea of being patient. If one is attached to being patient, then one is not truly patient. True patience goes even beyond the concept of being patient.
"Then I don't need to be patient?" one may ask.
If you are not patient, then you are really not patient! You should be patient and yet not patient. You are patient, but you are not caught up in "being a patient person." If you think, "I cultivate patience," you are just adding a head on top of a head! Patience is just patience. Why do you have to think in terms of a self--"I" am patient? True cultivators of the Way should understand that all dharmas are but empty appearances. If you can't understand that concept, then you will be unable to cultivate the Way.
4. One will be vigorous in body and mind. This means that one won't be more vigorous with the body than the mind or vice versa. One will be vigorous equally with both, but not attached. One shouldn't think, "I really work hard! I'm really vigorous!" As long as one cultivates, but holds to the idea of vigor, that is not "Prajna" vigor. With Prajna vigor, one must be vigorous and yet not vigorous, not vigorous and yet vigorous. All dharmas must be empty and one must separate from all marks. One still has to cultivate, but one must separate from marks. One must subdue one's mind and yet separate from the mark of having subdued one's mind. One must regulate one's mind until it is tame and does no false thinking.
What is the fifth advantage of Prajna? I think you can all guess without my having to say it--not because you can read my mind, but because you have seen that the first advantage pertains to giving, the second to precepts, the third to patience, and the fourth to vigor. And so you can deduce that the fifth must pertain to Chan samadhi. However, you don't know how to explain it.
5. In Chan one will not dwell anywhere. When one investigates Dhyana, one will arrive at the level of "dwelling nowhere." This means that one will have broken all attachments. One will have no attachment to self or dharmas; they will both be emptied, gone. Not dwelling anywhere means that one has obtained liberation. As long as one dwells somewhere, one is not free. Not dwelling anywhere is "Prajna Chan."
6. Demons will be unable to disturb one. This is the "Prajna" Prajna. Demons' can't get one, because one has real Prajna wisdom. If one has no Prajna, they will be able to bother one. They will take one by surprise and ambush one so that one doesn't know what to do. One doesn't know whether to fight or run, whether to attack or surrender. They will catch one off guard and one will be afraid and confused. If one has wisdom, it doesn't matter what great spiritual powers the demons have, they won't be able to disturb one.
7. Others' theories won't confuse one. If you don't have genuine wisdom, then if someone says, "East," you will go east. If someone says, "West," you will go west. Someone might say, "Cultivating the Secret School is the best form of cultivation. Recite the name of Akshobhya Buddha." You will think, "It is? Okay, I'll do that. I'll recite it and subdue the demons!"
Then someone else comes along and says, "The Pure Land School is the best. Reciting the name of Amitabha Buddha is the best form of cultivation in the Dharma-Ending Age," and you'll think, "Really? Okay, I'll do it."
Someone else might tell you, "Don't bother learning how to lecture on the Sutras and speak the Dharma. Go off and live in a cave in the mountains. That's real cultivation!" After you've spent two and a half years in the mountains, someone comes by and says, "Hey, the Vinaya School is the best," and off you go to the Vinaya School. In general you vacillate. You just follow other people's opinions of what is good. You have no samadhi power and so other people's ideas turn you around and around.
To be continued
We regret that the article “Recess—Meditation” of Students’ Corner in issue 312 contained some inaccuracies and implications that did not reflect the actual situation.