The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
|Articles by alphabetic order|
Five Stage Path
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Yogacara recognizes a five stage process, or path, to enlightenment:
1) Resources, or gathering provisions, is the stage of subduing the phenomenon of duality based on learned attachments to self and dharmas. This helps us see our life experience with increased understanding, so we can act in ways that lead us in the direction of enlightenment. By applying Yogacara theory to everyday activities we can replace subjective concepts with more objective information about consciousness. In this stage, and the next, applied or provisional wisdom, which is dependent on mental constructs, is utilized. For example, the dharmas of resolution (remorse and shame) and the dharmas interactive with the mind help us deal with our conditioned nature.
2) Application is the stage of using meditations to enter into the four dhyanas. This process is completed when the seeds in the eighth consciousness, that ripen into concepts of subject and object, are eliminated. Neither in resources nor applicationis there a manifestation of pure wisdom.
3) Vision is the beginning of the transformation of consciousness into wisdom. This process begins with entrance into the first of the nine Bodhisattva grounds where conditional applied wisdom, that is dependent upon distinctions, is gradually superseded by fundamental and attained wisdom.
4) Meditational development covers the eight remaining grounds while eliminating all the seeds of the innate attachments to self and to dharmas. In the second through seventh grounds all three types of wisdom are still used;
applied wisdom to deal with attachments still present,
subsequently-attained wisdom in meditation that have characteristics, and
fundamental wisdom in meditations without characteristics.
In the last three grounds just fundamental wisdom (in meditation) and subsequently attained wisdom (for actions) are utilized.
5) Perfection is the final stage of completion. There one resides in the state of contemplation of pure wisdom and enlightenment.