With the cessation of your volition aggregate, the wellspring for generation of all beings appears to suddenly disintegrate. The deeply intertwined vein linking seed to birth is severed.
When obscured by the Five Aggregates, the sky of the essence of nirvana is like that of a darkened horizon on a foggy night. When the first three aggregates terminate, it is daybreak but light is not yet dawn. Once the volition aggregate ceases, only one aggregate remains submerged. The enlightenment of daylight is on the rise. With the six senses quieted, that which listens and that which is heard are no more, sense data and sense faculties merge into one luminous radiance. At this point, you enter the stream of novice sages and understand that by preventing the source of birth from flowing, neither you nor any being who observes the same can be led into transmigration. While the senses and sense objects have ceased for you, the singular nature of emptiness has not yet died. Recognizing the consciousness aggregate is like deciphering the colors of sunrise or objects in the dark.
When your six senses become one, when that single emptiness becomes nonexistent so that your six senses can exchange functions, your body and mind and all worlds become like clear crystal, translucent inside and out. That is the point where your consciousness aggregate dissipates. You can then transcend life turbidity, knowing that illusory conscious thinking is at its root.
- You believe you have reached ultimate attainment. You have the ability to use your senses separately, together, or in various combinations. You can connect with all beings and their thoughts. If you believe that you have already returned to the true and eternal source, you would be attached to that which is the cause. You may dream that you have found a treasure chest and returned home with it, but that is not reality.
You join the ranks of those heretics who consider the primal source to be an unidentifiable obscurity; you cannot find your way to enlightenment.
- You believe you have reached supreme capabilities. If you believe that the consciousness aggregate as primal source is in you, hence all beings come forth from that source in you, you would be attached.
You join the ranks of those heretics who consider the primal source to be you, pervading throughout worlds; you cannot find your way to enlightenment.
- You believe you have reached ultimate understanding regarding consciousness in you as source. You suspect that body, mind, and all throughout space comes forth from that source, and in turn misinterpret the source to be the eternal corpus that never ceases or comes into being.You join the ranks of those heretics who consider the primal source to be perpetually in a state of birth and death (or lack thereof); you cannot find your way to enlightenment.
- You believe you have reached ultimate awareness. If you believe that awareness is all pervasive, you would assume vegetation sentient like human beings. Were vegetation humans, people would die and become vegetation.
You join the ranks of those heretics attached to the understanding that awareness pervades indiscriminately; you cannot find your way to enlightenment.
- You believe you have mastered the ability to exchange the uses of your senses. You make use of them to create material transformations such as simultaneously spewing water from your upper body and burn with fire in your lower body. If you believe that achievements with these material objects make these the fundamental and eternal cause, you would be attached to that which is generative.You join the ranks of those heretics who are deluded about material objects, misunderstanding cause and effect; you cannot find your way to enlightenment.
- You believe void is at the core ultimately. You rely on and wish to return to infinite void. If you believe the mind that is void is the cause and empty are the effects, you would be attached to extinctionism.You join the ranks of those heretics who consider annihilation the source to return to; you cannot find your way to enlightenment.
- You believe the source is eternal, hence the body is eternal like your consciousness aggregate. If you mistake the consciousness aggregate for the source of life, especially a long life, you would be attached to the wrong source for a lasting life.You join the ranks of those who aspire to longevity; you cannot find your way to enlightenment.
- You believe that the source of life, i.e., the consciousness aggregate, is connected with and sustained by sense data; their preservation or extinction depends on one another. Consequently, you fear the depletion of materiality. You transformationally produce gems and beauties, letting your mind indulge in them. If you mistake your consciousness aggregate for that which is true, you would be attached to that which is true.You join the ranks of those who foster deviant notions by satiating yourself with material effects; you cannot find your way to enlightenment.
- You continue to refine your profound understanding of the life source of beings. You choose to understand that causal conditions are a true teaching while the heretics’ hypothesis of permanent annihilation is false. You fathom that there are two laws of cause and effect, one secular and the other transcendental. You only aim to cultivate truly and bypass quickly the Triple Realm, defying the path of purity about practice being no practice, realization being no realization, and any significance is but illusory. To you, the truths that there is suffering and there is accumulation of suffering are worldly cause and effect while the truths that there is ceasing of suffering and there is a way are non-worldly cause and effect. You stall in the truth of extinction, detesting the secular and admire the transcendental; you stop and remain at a mirage of an oasis rather than advance until you reach your final destination.You are focused on seeking final realization but become sidetracked by quiescent annihilation and entangled by emptiness. Instead of reaching the source of enlightenment afar, you turn your back on the city of nirvana.
- In the purity of perfectly integrating your six senses into one and returning to emptiness upon shattering existence, you awaken to the understanding of life’s source. You investigate further the effervescence of things or their causal connections, but you fail to expand your heart and turn to all beings. You presume that the state you’ve awakened to is nirvana.You join the ranks of those interested only in personal salvation; you cannot find your way to enlightenment.
Once your consciousness aggregate evaporates, the functions of your senses become exchangeable, in that you may, for example, listen with your skin, eat with your eyes, speak with your nose. At that point you enter a mode of indestructible wisdom where your luminous and refined mind is like pure crystal or a shiny moon. Continue with your practice and you will reach ultimate enlightenment.
Along your path of practice, you may become confused because you become satisfied with your current state and quit advancing toward full enlightenment.
Meditators since times of old share these 50 meditation experiences
out of compassion for beings so that they are aware and do not become sidetracked in their practice.
Whenever you encounter interesting meditation experiences, recognize them for what they are, purifying your mind rather than becoming adherents of odd outlooks.
For meditators who enjoy meditation but don’t study the teachings of the Buddha specifically, I strongly recommend that you also memorize and recite the Shurangama Mantra. This powerful mantra will keep you from being diverted from ultimate enlightenment.