the foundation of attaining the way

beth moon

Stabilization is the final stage of escape from the profane, the foundation of attaining the Way, the accomplishment of cultivated stillness, the consummation of maintaining calm.

When the body is like a withered tree, the mind like dead ashes, without reactivity, without seeking anything, this is the epitome of tranquility. There is no mindfulness of stabilization, yet there is stability. Thus it is called tranquil stabilization.

Chuang-tzu said, “One whose capacity is tranquilly stabilized radiates natural light.” Capacity refers to the mind, natural light is active insight. The mind is a capacitor of the Way; when it is as uncluttered and quiet as can be, then the Way stays there and insight emerges.

Insight comes from original nature; one does not just come to have it now. That is why it is called natural light. It is just because of the muddling confusion caused by craving that it comes to be obscure. Clean it, make it flexible, rectify it, and restore it to purity and calm, and the original real conscious spirit will gradually become clear of itself; this does not mean that you are just now producing that insight.

Once insight has emerged, treasure it and do not compromise stability by too many concerns.

Treatise on Sitting Forgetting