THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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Volume 8

5 Space takes on the color of precious things.

Sutra:

Further, as the person uses his mind to intently investigate that wondrous light, he will contemplate without pause, restraining and subduing his mind so that it does not go to extremes. Suddenly the space in the ten directions may take on the colors of the seven precious things or the colors of a hundred precious things, which simultaneously pervade everywhere without hindering one another. The blues, yellows, reds, and whites will each be clearly apparent. This state is called 'excessively subduing the mind.' It is a temporary state and does not indicate sagehood. If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons' influence.

Commentary:


Further, as the person uses his mind to intently investigate that wondrous light he will contemplate without pause, restraining and subduing his mind so that it does not go to extremes. He tries to curb his mind so that it does not become overzealous.

Suddenly the space in the ten directions may take on the colors of the seven precious things, or the colors of a hundred precious things, which will simultaneously pervade everywhere throughout space without hindering one another. They will be mutually unobstructing.

The blues, yellows, reds, and whites, the various colors, will each be clearly apparent. Each will display its own color. This state is called "excessively subduing the mind." You are cultivating to restrain your mind, not letting it engage in false thinking, not allowing it to have random thoughts. After the restraint occurs for a long time, it becomes excessive. You go beyond the proper measure. It is a temporary state and does not indicate sagehood. You will only temporarily be able to see the colors of the seven precious things in space, so this state does not mean you have attained sagehood.

If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. It will be all right; it will not be a bad state. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons' influence. You will be surrounded by deviant influences, and you will fall.

J6 He can see things in the dark.

Sutra:

Further, as the person uses his mind to investigate with clear discernment until the pure light no longer disperses, he will suddenly be able to see various things appear in a dark room at night, just as if it were daytime, while the objects that were already in the room do not disappear. This state is called 'refining the mind and purifying the vision until one is able to see in the dark.' It is a temporary state and does not indicate sagehood. If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons' influence.

Commentary:


Further, as the person uses his mind to investigate with clear discernment until the pure light no longer disperses. Again, this person uses his mind in samadhi to observe states, until the pure light of his discerning mind becomes very focused and he is endowed with samadhi power. He will suddenly be able to see various things appear in a dark room in a house which is not lighted at night, just as if it were daytime, while the objects that were already in the room do not disappear. Not only will he be able to see things that are inside the house, he will also be able to see things that are outside the house. Not only will he see what is already in the house, he will also see, with great clarity, the things that come into the house from outside.

This state is called "refining the mind and purifying the vision until one is able to see in the dark." Your mind is refined to the utmost extent and your vision is purified to the extreme point. With such pure vision, you will be able to see even in dark places. But it is a temporary state and does not indicate sagehood. You shouldn't think that this is the fruition of sagehood, because it certainly isn't!

If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons' influence. If you become conceited and think that you have achieved great skill in cultivation, you will attract demonic obstructions.

When some cultivators reach the state of ultimate purity and allpervading light, they will suddenly see all kinds of things. That is because they have opened the Buddha eye. However, not every person is able to open his Buddha eye, and even if one does, it may not stay open forever. In the state described here, the Buddha eye opens temporarily, enabling one to see the objects in a dark house as if there were light. I also mentioned that you would be able to see things coming to the house from outside. What sort of things might these be? For example, you might see a spirit, a ghost, a Bodhisattva, or a Buddha coming into the dark house from outside. It's not for certain that you will experience these states.

Not everyone experiences such states, but some people might. These are states that may occur at some point in your cultivation. But don't think that all cultivators go through the same experiences, because that's not the case.

Some people open the Buddha eye permanently. That is known as "a spiritual power that comes as a reward." Such people industriously cultivated the dharma of the thousand hands and thousand eyes in previous lives, and as a result, they can open the Buddha eye in life after life. Other people may only be able to open the Buddha eye temporarily, because their minds are not in a perpetual state of purity. If their minds were constantly pure, and they had cultivated the dharma of great compassion in their previous lives, they would be able to open the Buddha eye permanently. There are a variety of differing circumstances in cultivation.

J7 His body becomes like grass or wood.

Sutra:

Further, when his mind completely merges with emptiness, his four limbs will suddenly become like grass or wood, devoid of sensation even when burned by fire or cut with a knife. The burning of fire will not make his limbs hot and even when his flesh is cut, it will be like wood being whittled. This state is called 'the merging of external states and the blending of the four elements into a uniform substance.' It is a temporary state and does not indicate sagehood. If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons' influence.

Commentary:


Further, when his mind completely merges with emptiness, you may say that the mind exists, yet it doesn't you may say it doesn't exist, yet it does. His four limbs will suddenly become like grass or wood, devoid of sensation even when burned by fire or cut with a knife. If you cut his arms or legs with a knife or burn them with fire, he will not feel any pain or discomfort. The burning of fire will not make his limbs hot. When you try to burn them, they won't even become hot. And even when his flesh is cut, it will be like wood being whittled. If you slice off the flesh from his arms and legs, it will be just like shaving wood. He will feel no pain or irritation.

This state is called "the merging of external states and the blending of the four elements into a uniform substance." Defiled external states will come together, and the natures of earth, water, fire, and air will become a single substance. However, it is a temporary state, an occasional experience, and does not indicate sagehood. Do not think you have realized sagehood.

If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. But if he considers himself a sage and becomes selfsatisfied and haughty, then he will be vulnerable to the demons' influence. You will be attacked and surrounded by hordes of deviant beings.

J8 He can see everywhere without obstruction.

Sutra:

Further, when his mind accomplishes such purity that his skill in purifying the mind has reached its ultimate, he will suddenly see the earth, the mountains, and the rivers in the ten directions turn into Buddhalands replete with the seven precious things, their light shining everywhere. He will also see Buddhas, Tathagatas, as many as the sands of the Ganges, filling all of space. He will also see pavilions and palaces that are resplendent and beautiful. He will see the hells below and the celestial palaces above, all without obstruction. This state is called 'the gradual transformation of concentrated thoughts of fondness and loathing.' It does not indicate sagehood. If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons' influence.

Commentary:


Further, when his mind accomplishes such purity that his skill in purifying the mind has reached its ultimate. Applying his mind to cultivation of the Way and to the practice of samadhi, he achieves a state of extreme purity. At that point, he will suddenly see the earth, the mountains, and the rivers in the ten directions turn into Buddhalands replete with the seven precious things, their light shining everywhere. Every place will be adorned with the seven precious things: gold, silver, lapis lazuli, mother-of-pearl, red pearls, carnelian and coral. These precious things will illumine the ten directions. He will also see Buddhas, Tathagatas, as many as the sands of the Ganges River, filling all of space. He will also see tower-pavilions and jeweled palaces that are resplendent and beautiful. He will see the hells below. Looking downwards, he will see all the hells. And looking upwards, he will see what is happening in the celestial palaces above, all without the least bit of obstruction. He is able to see any place he wishes to see.

This state is called "the gradual transformation of concentrated thoughts of fondness and loathing." Why is he able to see these things? It's because he ordinarily has likes and dislikes. He would like to go to the heavens and the Buddhalands, and he would detest going to the hells. He concentrates on such thoughts, being as attentive as a hen sitting on her eggs, as a cat waiting for a mouse, or as a dragon nurturing its pearl. He does not think about anything else, but only about how fine it is in the Buddha lands, and how much suffering there is in the hells. His mind favors happy places and loathes the places of suffering and misery. Eventually, his concentrated thoughts create these kinds of states. It does not indicate sagehood. He should not think that he has attained sagehood and achieved great spiritual skill. If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. It's not a bad one. But if he considers himself a sage and says, "What a terrific state! I'm living with the Buddhas. In fact, I'm a Buddha myself!" then he will be vulnerable to the demons' influence. If he thinks like that, the demons and the externalists will all go to keep him company. "You say you're living with the Buddhas? Well, we'll be your friends and join you," they say.

J9 He sees and hears distant things.

Sutra:

Further, as the person uses his mind to investigate what is profound and far away, he will suddenly be able to see distant places in the middle of the night. He will see city markets and community wells, streets and alleys, and relatives and friends, and he may hear their conversations. This state is called 'having been suppressed to the utmost, the mind flies out and sees much that had been blocked from view.' It does not indicate sagehood. If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons' influence.

Commentary:


Further, as the person uses his mind to investigate what is profound and far away, he will suddenly be able to see various situations in distant places in the middle of the night. He will see city markets where things are sold on the street and community wells where people draw water, large streets and small alleys. He may see his relatives and friends, his associates, and he may hear their conversations; he will be able to listen to them talking.

This state is called "having been suppressed to the utmost, the mind flies out and sees much that had been blocked from view." In his cultivation, he restrained the mind from indulging in idle thinking. Having stifled the mind to the extreme, he experiences a sensation of flying out and seeing things no matter how far away they are. Usually he tries not to look at things, but now all of a sudden his mind breaks loose and he can see everything. It does not indicate sagehood. He should not think that this is a good state. If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good, passable state. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons' influence. If he claims to have realized sagehood when he hasn't, or if he claims to have attained what he hasn't, he will find himself surrounded by demons.

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