The Pulsation of Meditation Practice Triggered by the Dharmadhatu Worldview

Time: March 12, 2011
Venue: R715, Degui Academy, Taipei
Speaker: Prof. Tsai Yaoming

The Preparatory Office of Dharma Drum University invited Mr. Tsai Yaoming, an associate professor of the Department of Philosophy of National Taiwan University, to make a speech titled “The Pulsation of Meditation Practice Triggered by the Dharmadhatu Worldview” at Degui Academy in the afternoon of March 12. This event was the first session of “The Introduction to Chan Culture Lecture Series” and attracted more than 80 participants.

Prof. Yang Pei served as the moderator and kicked off the lecture series. In his speech, Prof. Tsai expounded on his theme with the following subjects respectively: At first he explained that the effects of meditation practice lie in the training of oneself so that one could be calm, focused, clear minded, mindful, and could even control the state of one’s own mind and consciousness freely. At the same time, he pointed out that the purpose of meditation practice lie in the exploration of problematic mentalities and taking a further step to transform those mentalities so that one may achieve a good quality of life.

Next, regarding the “object” of meditation, Prof. Tsai pointed out that if we focused our attention on a specific object, then most of the time we would either be affected by the object or be restricted by it. As for “the abode” that a meditation practitioner abide in, Prof. Tsai pointed out that most people settled their mind on a Chan hall, a home, or a piece of land, while experts of meditation settle their mind on the samadhi state of the “abode of boundless space,” the “abode of boundless consciousness,” “the abode of nothingness,” the “abode of neither perception nor non-perception,” and so on. Although these abodes enable the practitioners to settle down their body and mind for either a long or short period of time, they are, not the ultimate abode for meditation practice.

In comparison to the meditation focusing on the objects and abodes that are not ultimate, the Dharma teaching on the path of liberation, places emphasis on pointing out the impermanence and the absence of “I” and “mine” of those things. Whereas the Dharma teaching on the path of bodhi emphasizes that those things are all dependently originated, empty in nature, following the middle way, and are also non-dual. Therefore, when facing them we should have no attachment and no mind of seeking or attainment. Amidst them, we perceive and contemplate on the dependent origination of all dharmas, and the fact that from dependent origination, a changing process is strung together and interwoven into a network of illusory transformation, thus shaping into the teaching called the “Dharmadhatu Worldview.” Based on the “Dharmadhatu Worldview” we can change all varieties of improper and deviant mentalities and outlooks of the world, and thereby activate the correct pulsation of meditation practice.

The content of such a pulsation of meditation practice is:

Regard the mind that engages in meditation as an illusory manifestation that is dependently originated; it does not have actual existence in itself or a fixed and substantial content.  Therefore, it’s particularly important that we do not create or chase after the issues of each individual mind or thought. Not to dichotomize “the object” or the “abode”, and not to make the assertion that these and the mind of meditation are separate and heterogeneous items in advance.  The mind of meditation and the “object” or “abode” are not grasping or opposing each other, but rather they are unraveling, switching, penetrating, realizing, and transforming the illusory manifestation of the Dharmadhatu of equality.  Following this consistent relationship of manifestation, one can extend the pulsation of meditation practice in the Dharmadhatu infinitely.

After the speech, Prof. Tsai had an in-depth dialogue and discussion with the audience before this rare and precious Dharma gathering came to a close.
(Reported by Chen Pingkwen)