The Essential Scripture...


The Essential Scriptures of the Buddha and Patriarchs

Secrets on Cultivating the Mind

Section 32

If [these two types can both be practiced] in that singular moment where there is no sequence of before and after [via sudden awakening/sudden cultivation], there then would have to be some distinction between the respective suddenness and gradualness of these two types of samādhi and prajñā; so how could they both be cultivated simultaneously? The sudden-school adept relies on the self-nature type and eschews effort naturally in all situations. Students of inferior capacity in the gradual school cling to the [relative] type that adapts to signs and exert themselves in applying countermeasures. The respective capacities of these two approaches are different as regards their suddenness and gradualness; their superiority and inferiority are obvious. So why is it explained that, in the approach of initial [sudden] awakening and subsequent [gradual] cultivation, there are two ways [to maintain samādhi and prajñā equally]? Please help us to understand this and eliminate our doubts.
Chinul: The explanation is obvious. Your doubts come only from yourselves. If you try to gain understanding by merely following the words, you will only end up giving rise to doubt and confusion. It is best to get the meaning and forget the words; do not bother scrutinizing them in detail.
Now let me assess the cultivation entailed with each of these two approaches [to samādhi and prajñā].
Cultivation of the samādhi and prajñā of the self-nature: this [type] involves the use of the sudden school’s effortless effort, in which both are mobilized and both are calmed; oneself cultivates the self-nature, and oneself completes the path to buddhahood.