There’s a line in the Prajnaparamita Sutra in 150 lines that states that one demonstration of Perfect Wisdom is called the “Consummation of awakening to the calm true nature of all the Buddhas (tathagathas).” Underline the word calm, and then put any word that is unfamiliar or affiliation to Buddhism aside. Focus, instead, on the simplicity being said. “The calm true nature” of the most sublime beings in cosmos and the most sublime nature of our self have the same essence. To live this is the highest wisdom.
The training for this calm and discovering it as the true nature is meditation training in serenity, shamatha.
Shamatha training cannot be underestimated. Calm abiding – training the mind to rest in tranquility and focused acuity – is the foundation for all meditation, meditation states, and realizations. Shamatha is also the birth point for vipashyana. Penetrating insight is not possible without the neutrality, equipoise, and openness of shamatha.
The advancing meditations have spent over a month on simply focusing the mind, of trying to harness the horse of the mind, of trying to tame the wayward elephant of the mind, of getting the monkey-mind to settle down. And, you who have been doing these meditations remotely, you have too. I hope that awareness of what you are attempting is dawning, and that you are having some success. Don’t look for or expect big success. That will be the wiley ego making something out of normalcy. If presence is our true nature then no big deal need be made of it, rather the big deal should be made of the opposite.
May we all be served by discovering the calm pure nature of inner Being.
As said in the introduction, all meditation practice amounts to the detachment from arisings, thus a decrease of of them, thus the cessation of their preponderance, thus eventually the cessation of reaction and response to that which appears and appears to exist. All this is shamatha training.
We rejoice because not only is shamatha training the only ground and foundation for all meditation practice no matter what tradition or cultural frame, but it also is the very essence of the enlightened state.
Shoulders like a lion, he sits regal and sovereign, centered in centerlessness: Leo
Gaze unwavering, he penetrates all illusion: Scorpio
Immovable in samdhi, he is the Bull of Meditation: Taurus.
Benefitting all beings through pure Being, he is Aquarius.
Samantabhadri epitomizes the mutable cross.
Fluid and ever producing the seeming of appearances, she is Gemini.
Adjusting all (dharmas) phenomena to suit the needs of beings, she is Virgo.
Joyful in the play of existence and supreme in the bliss of non-dual Awareness, she is Sagittarius.
Ever merging and non-two with Samantabhadra, never separate in any way, she is universal suchness: Pisces.
Together, sitting in Pristine Non-dual buddha nature, they are ONE – cardinality itself. Cardinality is the womb and source of the principles of existence and of liberation.
Cancer: Mother Prajnaparamita – shunyata – the womb with no exit. Indescribable, incomprehensible, completely non-conceptual. That which births all conceptions is never conceived.
Libra: Non-dual dharmakaya is mirror-like purity (Venus ruling). There is no reflection in the mirror-nature of mind-Awareness, no other. Emptiness (shunyata) is sameness. Sameness perceives no dharmas (phenomena). No otherness is the Truth of Relatedness.
Capricorn: Vajra, indestructible, deathless, birthless, buddha nature is the all-ground. When “the work is done,” one can “rest on dry land,” but until the outflows are tamed, one must learn discipline through the exactitude of cause-condition-effect (karma).
Capricorn is adversary, Mara, death and suffering. Capricorn expresses as cruelty, ambition and disregard in the self-oriented as witnessed in animals and people. Capricorn demonstrates the long eons of practice, the mountain of self to conquer, and the vision of Reality and realizations possible as one does. Capricorn is the threshold of non-returners as well as that of 10th bhumi Bodhisattva mahasattvas on the threshold of the supreme (annutarasamyaksambodhi).
Aries: Raw, unstoppable, raging light of enlightenment. Aries is rigpa, vajradhatu, vajra samaya, Vajrasattva (Diamond Beingness). Aries is shunyata, sprouting all that appears and appears to exist. Aries is the “childish” foolishness of ignorance that believes appearances and the sensations of existence as to be reporting Truth and Reality. Foolish ignorance produces the duality of me and mine (signified by the glyph ♈︎), which produces aggression.
Aries is embodiment: taking a body, phenomenal existence, and the six realms. As embodiment, Aries illustrates the aggregates and aggregated perceptions of form, feeling, and so forth.
Aries is the Conqueror of ignorance, thus of aggression, thus of me and mine, thus of the aggregates, thus of deluded perception.
Cardinal Aries equals the ultimate as said by the Conqueror in the Samdinirmocana Sutra: “that which transcends all argumentation is the ultimate.” (chapt. 2)
Use each phrase and statement is a contemplation or meditation. Each could be expanded upon significantly; and, except for a few Buddhist phrases that might be unfamiliar and Samantabharda/dri as well!, the pith can illumine anyone’s understanding of astrology. Have fun!