Question: Can Progress in Practice be Described As a Series of Negating One’s Previous Stage of Attainment and Affirming

Sheng Yen: In actual fact the previous stage and what you are affirming now are not two different things. We say that vexations are just bodhi—that is, they are not two separate things. So “negation” is not saying that you have to detest or get rid of vexations before you give rise to wisdom. You cannot achieve nirvana by negating samsara—they are one thing. It is only that in the process of the practice one’s perception of it varies according to one’s experience.


Extended Reading I

Tea Word I




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