Tag Archives: Śūrańgama Sūtra

The Two Principles

In the Surangama Sutra, the Buddha imparts his wisdom to Ananda regarding the two fundamental principles. These principles align with what we, in the UnbornMind Zen tradition, refer to as the two core principles. The first principle is the moving principle, which involves becoming attached and dependent on all perceptual movements within the realm of phenomena. It encompasses the ever-changing nature of our experiences and the constant flux of the world around us. read more

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Overcoming Obstacles

V. Overcoming Obstacles

  1. Do not think you will reach maturation quickly, otherwise you will resemble a withered tree before the edge of a cliff.
  2. Maturation in this spiritual initiative is matched by one’s gradual mastery of the technique as exhibited over time.
  3. In practicing the technique of turning-around-the-light one must rest calmly in the center of the Bodhi-heart. When the breath is rising and setting calmly within the measured-rhythm of the Bodhi-womb, one intuitively knows that the meditation may continue unhindered.
  4. When entering into this quietude, it is essential that one does not have any vacuities in the mind. One must not just sit in mindless-emptiness like Mara’s mannequin, else falling into the bondage of the false-self will become a certain inevitability.
  5. When one experiences in meditation the depths of gloominess, it is a surety that one will encounter the five dark-demons. Their ensnaring presence emanates from a world of oppressive darkness; their power is heavy and cold and will produce heavy-breathing accompanied by terrifying images. One is in danger of turning to stone as if bedeviled with Medusa’s touch. In this instance, one needs to discontinue the meditation session and resume it again at a more favorable interval.
  6. Again, one must remain alert and aware in the session lest some form of dark psychological impressions overcome steadiness of mind and spirit. This can occur when one least expects it, even when apparently reaching the heights of contemplative ecstasy. The Śūrańgama Sūtra warns against such episodes.
  7. Above all, remain mindful in the Recollective Resolve lest becoming enslaved to any creeping denizen from Mara’s dark dominion.
  8. One must remain detached and independent in spirit against all possible disturbances. Envision the Garbha-child serenely rising above you, safely sheltered in an inviolable circle of Unborn Light, indifferent to any psychic-attacks of the evil one.

One must not just sit in mindless-emptiness like Mara’s mannequin: sitting in a mindless stupor only induces senility of spirit and leaves the door wide open for Mara’s intrusion as he “pulls the strings” over the spiritless and enslaved hulk. read more

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Some Limitations

Completion of Book III

iii. 50-55 Avoidance of Spiritual Downfalls

3.50 Dispassion towards the Siddhic Powers must be assured lest the yogin succumb to the pride of a grandiose spirit. read more

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Coming in March: The Śūrańgama Sūtra

In this super-sonic speed samsaric whirlpool we find ourselves in these days, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the Tsunami-wave of it all and lose track of one’s essential centeredness in the Buddhadharma. The Śūrańgama Sūtra is an indispensible Mind-tool that empowers both the seasoned student and, even more so, the inexperienced adapt to never lose sight of one’s spiritual foundation in the Mahayana. It is not some kind of a limited and sectarian vehicle, but rather intrinsically the seed-bed from which diverse schools like the Yogācāra and Esoteric-Vajarānā, C’han and Zen, Mādhyamaka and in particular—the Tathagata-garbha school of Zen—all find common doctrinal themes and special accentuation on cultivating one’s meditational practices with a specific impetus on Samādhi. One could say that the Śūrańgama Sūtra is a catechism for the Buddhadharma; in this sense, its foundational underpinning is a must for the serious student. Also, the Śūrańgama Mantra contained therein can prove to be a stabilizing and protective source for one’s spiritual-life. As the Fifty Demonic States of Mind will reveal later on, there is much destabilizing and even outright destructive forces (even at infinitesimal levels) at work unbeknownst most of the time, yes forces that seek to disrupt and even destroy one’s advancement along the way of the Mahayana. read more

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