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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Stages

In Hinayana Buddhism they classify our practice in four ways. The best way is just to do it without having any joy (even spiritual joy) in it. Just do it, forgetting our physical and mental feeling -- just do it and forget all about yourself in your practice. This is the fourth, highest stage.
The next one is just to have physical joy. This stage -- you can compare this stage to the stage your find some pleasure in practice because you like it you practice it. In this stage you have still physical joy. And the second stage is the stage you have mental joy and physical joy. But in the third stage you have just physical feeling, physical good feeling. In the second stage you have mental and physical good feeling. So, those two stages are the stages, because you feel good, you practice zazen. So this stage is the best stage, the second and third one. The first stage is the stage you have no thinking, you have no curiosity in your practice. This is the first stage. When you stop your thinking you have the first one. This is also true with our Mahayana practice. The highest stage is just to practice it, and if you find some difficulty in it that is the warning that you have some wrong idea in your practice, so you have to be careful but don’t give up your practice; continue it knowing that -- knowing your weakness of your practice. Here we have no gaining idea in our practice. Here we have no fixed idea of attainment. You don’t say ‘This is enlightenment’ or ‘That is not right practice’.