The Essential Scripture...


The Essential Scriptures of the Buddha and Patriarchs

Secrets on Cultivating the Mind

Section 31

Would you say that a person’s practice should first rely on the self-nature type by cultivating samādhi and prajñā concurrently, and then subsequently make further use of the countermeasures of the [relative] approach that adapts to signs? Or should one first rely on the [relative] type that adapts to signs, control dullness and agitation, and then subsequently start on the self-nature type? If after initially employing the samādhi and prajñā of the self-nature, one is then able to remain calm and aware naturally in all situations, thus rendering the counteractive measures unnecessary, why would one subsequently have to apply the [relative] type of samādhi and prajñā that adapts to signs? It is like a piece of white jade: if it is engraved, its natural beauty will be destroyed. [On the other hand,] after the initial application of the [relative] type of samādhi and prajñā that adapts to signs, if the work of counteraction is brought to a close and one then progresses on to the self-nature type, this would be little more than the gradual suffusion prior to awakening as practiced by those of inferior faculties in the gradual school. How would you then be able to say that the sudden school’s approach of initial awakening and subsequent cultivation makes use of the effortless effort?