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Buddhadharma : Summer 2007
buddhadharma| 41 |summer 2007 world. These phenomena grow out of the practice of the four steps and validate that one has planted them as virtuous roots. Warmth means that one’s mind is becom ing soft and gentle and that the harshness is receding. Summit means that having gotten rid of harshness, one’s mind has ascended to the peak, so to speak. For bearance means that one will not bring harm to oneself or others. Supreme in the world means that one has transcended worldliness and is approaching the stage of an arhat. At the level of summit, one’s mind has become soft and gentle, not just sometimes but at all times. People often mistakenly assume that if one can enter samadhi, one’s problems will go away. Another misunder standing is that having had a glimpse of enlightenment, one no longer has vexa in Pali),2 whereby one directly perceives that the true nature of the self is that of a buddha. This is the stage of the arhat, or saint. The fourth stage is to actualize the bodhisattva path, in which one practices dhyana to realize samadhi and wisdom. This enables one to use skillful means to deliver sentient beings; that is, to help them enter or follow the path. The fifth stage of the journey is complete liberation in buddhahood. Before talking about the four steps to magical powers, I want to briefly describe the four enhanced phenomena of warmth, summit, forbearance, and supreme in the tions. The truth is that only when wisdom and dhyana arise together are we at a stage where we will not bring vexation to our selves or others. Until then, though we may be at ease with a joyous mind, we are not yet liberated because we are still attached to the idea of a self. To attain the summit level is not really that high, but it is still very good. It speaks of spiritual power, and it is at this level that we begin to practice the riddhipada, steps to magical power. Two Kinds of Power It is possible to generate two kinds of powers through practice. The first is supernatural powers through which one can transcend ordinary physical limita tions; for example, the ability to trans port oneself to different places and times, 2 The broad meaning of dhyana (Sanskrit) refers to any meditative practice in Buddhism where the purpose is to train the mind toward enlightenment. The narrow meaning of dhyana refers to progres sive meditative states, whose precise meanings depend on the method being practiced. In China, the word dhyana was transliterated to “Chan.” “Zen” is the Japanese transliteration of “Chan.”