The Three Yanas or Vehicles
Thomas Cleary, in his introduction to his translation of the Dhammapada refers to the three vehicles in the following ways:
Hinayana => the lesser journey to the to an individual’s realization of inner peace called the ‘Magic City’.
Mahayana => the great journey to enlightened knowledge and vision called ‘The Land of Treasures’.
Tantrayana => the ultimate journey or fundamental continuity wherein heaven and earth are united.
Each yana must be built on the foundation of the preceding yanas otherwise, distortions or stagnations are likely to arise.
In summation => A living experience of radical wholeness or fundamental continuity (tantrayana) is rooted in enlightened knowledge and vision (mahayana) which itself is rooted in an experiential realization of inner peace – a living base of easeful presence (hinayana).
March 16, 2013
Awakening in a Nutshell
(1) View – Establishing a here-and-now, all embracive view of life and living.
This requires clear, methodical thinking; persistent study and observation; and deep open ended contemplation. Sign’s of success will be a growing confidence that everything – matter, time, space, and consciousness – everything, is an ephemeral constantly changing dance of relating and relationship that involves the whole of existence. We are the world and the world is us.
(2) Meditation – Engaging in meaningful practice.
Essentially, this involves cultivating the art of resting, immersed in the flow of all-embracing viewing (the experience of #1), and supported by a deepening sense of calm presence (samatha) and vivid awakeness (vipassana), while learning from the ongoing experience of this unfolding world. This is the heart of meditation where one becomes a 24/7 student of life and by doing so, confers the role of teacher upon everyone and everything.
(3) Action – Engaging in a life of true sustainability.
Gradually, one’s ongoing lived experience becomes more broad and multi-dimensional. One’s actions, more and more, are in-tune with the ecological wholeness that is unfolding within and around, and one’s efforts increasingly bear fruits that benefit beings in myriad dimensions of existence.
(4) – All in Three in One – Fruition
With increasing experience, we discover the three preceding steps together form a single unfolding holo-movement. Correct view (a way of understanding that is in accord with the fullness of reality) shows us the essence of practice, the art of being this collaborative awakening aliveness in action, in a wider and wider range of situations and circumstances. With effective practice we find ourselves meaningfully contributing to the unfolding of life. Through effective action, we refine and deepen our knowing of wholeness, which in turn, clarifies what needs to be practiced which ripens and empowers our skilful action in the world – and so the three; view, meditation and action, continue as a single flow of integrated activity, an unbroken wholeness, a completeness in which there is nothing further to ‘practice’, beyond life itself in all its awesome fullness. As the Buddhist monks of old reputedly said, “Done is that which had to be done . . . ”
In a nutshell, 1, 2, 3, 4, – this is our bodhisattva work; our life work; our true vocations, as living embodiments of awakening in action.
Jan. 22, 2013
Some Books to Expand your View of Life
and Your Understanding of Meditation
“The spiritual life seems to be, in essence, the attempt to discover and adopt an attitude which is in fact appropriate to our experience of the whole.” – Olaf Stapleton in Star Maker
Here are some books that can help to expand your view of life.
What is Life – Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan, The Web of Life – Fritjof Capra. The Self Organizing Universe – Erich Jantsch, The Tree of Knowledge – Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, The Music of Life – Denis Noble, Self Comes to Mind – Antonio Damasio
Read, study and deepen your enquiry/question into commonly held assumptions and presuppositions concerning organic and inorganic, self and environment, inner and outer, part and whole. Through your studies, your view of what is going on within you and all around you may broaden into a suspicion that everything is interconnected with everything else. The world may appear less solid, more ephemeral, more delicate and beautiful and mysterious. This wide open and broadly inclusive understanding hugely contrasts to the main views and theories driving today’s politics, economics and education systems. Turning this conceptual suspicion into a solid, lived experience is the domain of meditation/contemplative enquiry.
Here are some books that will help to clarify the essential work of meditation.
Breathing: the natural way to meditate – Tarchin Hearn, Clarifying the Natural State – Tashi Namgyal, The Cloud of Unknowing – author unknown, The Song of Mahamudra – Tilopa (Found in CC Chang’s Teachings of Tibetan yoga and other Sources)