The Fourth Dhyana

Evan persisted in ruminating upon the irksome predicament before him, with a mind consumed by the weight of his thoughts.

“What is the underlying essence of this shrouded tower and what is the optimal approach to accessing its innermost sanctum?”

“Through careful observation while under the influence of the Fourth Dhyana”, intoned his teacher.

“I have long been curious about the nature of the Fourth Dhyana or the fourth level of Dhyana. Please elaborate.”

“The fourth level dhyana is the gateway to the illustrious Tathagata Ch’an, also known as the ‘Black’ Dragon Zen. Here, all phenomena are meticulously anteceded, and the Mind stands at the gateless gate of the dark principle of its true self. This level is aptly named, for it is here that one invites the supreme higher Bodhi of infinite Buddhas to awaken the sleeping Buddha from its great dream and unite with the great spiritual sangha of these Buddhas. In this state, one transcends the limitations of being a mere sattva or an inadequate idea seeking fulfillment in its own inadequate becoming. The sleeping ‘Buddha’ awakens to its true self, ‘turning back’ [paravritti] to itself through the discovery of this higher aspect of Bodhi, finding fulfillment [sukha] in itself AS SUCH [Tathata]. This mystical Union is a profound experience that can occur at any given moment. Therefore, one must train oneself to be prepared at all times, whether dreaming, walking, talking, or even in the great imagination of dying. When it arrives, it comes with great force, like a highly progressive and potent energy that seizes and paralyzes the body.”

“Indeed, one cannot help but ponder the potential peril that may arise from such a circumstance. What if the occurrence transpires whilst an individual is navigating a motor vehicle? Such a scenario could prove to be quite precarious, would it not?”

“Do you truly believe that the enlightened Buddhas would deign to deprive this inadequate notion of its present fanciful existence, or the lives of other sentient beings? Such an act would be a gross interference in the dream of the slumbering, and would surely shatter the Buddhapath of proper awakening. The Buddhas are not mere Karma, my dear one. Nay, it is you who are Karma. Their boundless bodhipower never ceases to nourish this dream, yet the slumbering one remains blind and preoccupied with this illusory realm, filtered through the skandhas, unable to perceive the obscure light or power of Higher Bodhi. Instead of utilizing the lower aspect of Bodhi to focus the Mind into a state of prepared initiation, the slumbering one employs it to animate a false self – a self that is none other than YOU – replete with a host of false emotions, a lust for carnal pleasures, vain dreams of various sorts, self-induced problems, and so forth. How could even the mightiest of hammers shatter such vast foolishness of Bodhi? It takes great effort, right view, and a wise Teacher to dispel such an Illusion.”

“I have gained a lucid comprehension of the approach required for this task. The knowledge I acquired from my initial attempt corroborates much of your teachings today. However, in a moment of vulnerability, my former tendencies ensnared me in the alluring melody of Mara’s sirens. I humbly apologize.”

“There is no need for apologies, my dear friend. Treat yourself with kindness in the present moment. Why subject yourself to torment? Instead, make a transformative shift in your mindset when it comes to detrimental habits. Convert these unwholesome practices into a source of wholesome and exultant determination and energy, propelling you towards a continuous and unwavering fourth level dhyana.

Come, let us venture forth into the resplendent realm of the Fourth Dhyana and finally unravel the enigma of this vexing tower.”

With a gentle touch, the Ch’an Master graced Evan’s head, igniting a familiar spark that liberated him from the oppressive burden of the skandhas…


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