The Essential Scripture...

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The Essential Scriptures of the Buddha and Patriarchs

Text on Seated Meditation by the Master of Rest and Repose Hermitage

Now, as for the term ‘seated meditation’: you must penetrate to the utmost good and should remain ever alert; cut off the thinking process, but without succumbing to laziness and torpor—this is called ‘seated.’ To be desireless amid desire and dust-free even while abiding amid the dust [of this world]—this is called ‘meditation.’
Externally, nothing is released into it; internally, nothing is released out of it—this is called ‘seated.’ There is nothing to which it is attached and nothing on which it relies; it is constantly shining brightly right in front of you—this is called ‘meditation.’
Externally, it remains unmoving even when shaken; internally, it is quiescent and unswayed—this is called ‘seated.’ To turn the light around and trace back the radiance, penetrating to the fundamental source of dharmas—this is called ‘meditation.’
Not to be irritated by what is adverse or favorable and not to be distracted by sounds and sights—this is called ‘seated.’ Illuminating the darkness, that brightness then surpasses even the sun and the moon; transforming all things, that merit is then superior even to heaven and earth—this is called ‘meditation.’
To enter into the non-discriminative absorption while amid differentiated sense-realms—this is called ‘seated.’ To exhibit discriminative wisdom while amid the undifferentiated realm—this is called ‘meditation.’
Combining all these various explanations, to function brilliantly with one’s authentic nature remaining just so—this is called ‘seated.’ Spatially and temporally [lit., horizontally and vertically], everything becomes sublime, and phenomenon and phenomena become unimpeded—this is called ‘meditation.’


We may discuss it briefly in this manner, but were we to treat it in detail, there would not be enough paper and ink to be able to explain it all [lit. paper and ink would never be able to exhaust it]. The great meditative absorption of the nāgas is free from both quietude and action; the sublime essence of true suchness is free from both arising and ceasing. Looking at it, you won’t see it; listening to it, you won’t hear it. It is empty but non-empty; existent but non-existent. It is so great that there is nothing outside; it is so small that there is nothing inside. Its spiritual powers and wisdom, its radiance and lifespan, and its great capacity and great functioning are infinite and inexhaustible. Aspirants should examine this well and take great awakening as their standard; then, letting out a loud shout, they will all be fully endowed with copious amounts of numinous sublimity. How can you consider as your master and students transmissions that are like those of the heterodox followers of the perverted māras; how can you consider that attaining something is what is meant by the ultimate?