Form And Formless | (6/29/2021 — “Ask Us Anything – LIVE” With Denny K Miu)


“[The three emancipations of] emptiness, signlessness, and wishlessness constitute dualities. The empty is the signless, and the signless is the wishless. If [one achieves] the empty, the signless, and the wishless, then there is no mind, thought, or consciousness. In this single gate of emancipation are the three gates of emancipation. This is to enter the Dharma gate of nonduality.”

From Chapter IX – The Dharma Gate of Nonduality of the Vimalakīrti Sutra

For this month’s regular open-audience, open-discussion “Ask Us Anything LIVE” — continuing discussions about meditation and related topics — Denny draws from, and summarizes the teaching of Master Ji Ru (Shifu) to link together the Four Great Elements, Four “Mighty” Postures, Four Right Knowings, Four Foundations of Mindfulness, Three (or Four) Dharma Seals, and Three Gates of Liberation.



  • Four Great Elements
    • Fire
    • Earth
    • Water
    • Wind
  • Four “Mighty” Postures
    • Standing
    • Sitting
    • Lying Down
    • Walking
  • Four Right Knowings
    • Body (身) ← Standing
    • Feeling (受) ← Sitting
    • Mind (心) ← Lying Down
    • Dharma (法) ← Walking
  • Four Foundations of Mindfulness
    • Body → “Not Firm” (觀身不實)
    • Feeling → Dukkha (觀受皆苦)
    • Mind → “Rising & Fading” (觀心生滅)
    • Dharma → “No Drama” (觀法無法)
  • Three (or Four) Dharma Seals
    • All are Impermanent (諸行無常)
    • Nirvana is Bliss (涅槃寂靜)
    • [Dukkha as the Fourth]
    • All are Empty & Non-Self (諸法無我)
  • Three Gates of Liberation
    • Desireless Gate (無願門)
    • “Signless” Gate (無相門)
    • Emptiness Gate (空門)

Miscellaneous mentions include:

  • Transcendental/reverse dependent origination (the opposite which I mentioned but couldn’t remember the name of)
  • Skandha vs Khandha
    • ‘..the correct word is kandha and NOT skandha for the five “aggregates”. The Pāli (and Sinhala) word kandha means a “pile” (as in a pile of sand) and is still used to denote a hill in Sinhala. I just look up the meaning of “skandha” in Sanskrit and it says  “Hindu god of war”. This is how the true meanings of the original words have been lost due to incorporation of “sophisticated sounding” Sanskrit words with no relevance.’
  • Dharma with a Big D meaning reality and dharma with a little d meaning phenomena, methodology, and the teachings of the historical Buddha
  • 33 Synonyms for Nibbana
  • Standalone Four Elements meditation practices
  • Non-separation of the four elements
  • The entire universe being within the body:

Yet it is just within this fathom-long body, with its perception & intellect, that I declare that there is the cosmos, the origination of the cosmos, the cessation of the cosmos, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of the cosmos.

from the Rohitassa Sutta
  • After the Buddha’s parinibbana the precepts being the teacher and the Four Applications/Foundations of Mindfulness as dwelling place:

My second question is, when the Buddha is in the world, we Bhikshus take the Buddha as our teacher. Whom should we take as our teacher after the Buddha enters Nirvana?”The Buddha said, ” After I enter Nirvana, you Bhikshus should take the precepts as your teacher. The Pratimoksa is your great teacher. If you uphold the precepts, it will be the same as when I am in the world. You should avoid all evil and practice all good deeds.”In the beginning of the Buddha’s teaching career, there were no precepts, but as the Sangha continued to grow, complications inevitably arose. Not everyone was well-behaved. The Buddha established the precepts one by one in response to the needs of the situation. In the final compilation of the precepts, there were 250 precepts for Bhikshus, 348 precepts for Bhikshunis, ten major and forty-eight minor precepts for Bodhisattvas, ten precepts for Shramaneras (novices), and eight precepts and five precepts for laypeople. All these various categories of precepts are aimed at helping people to behave well. People who are well-behaved will be good citizens who can help others and benefit the society. Thus, the moral precepts are the basis for world peace. Therefore, Bhikshus should take the precepts as their teacher.”Now I’ll ask the third question,” continued Ananda. “When the Buddha is in the world, we dwell with the Buddha. We always live and study with the Buddha. After the Buddha enters Nirvana, with whom should the Bhikshus dwell?”

The Buddha answered, “After I enter Nirvana, all the Bhikshus should dwell in the Four Applications of Mindfulness.”

via Sutra of the Merit and Virtue of the Past Vows of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata Commentary Part 1 Explained by the Venerable Master Hua
in 1983 at Gold Wheel Monastery in Los Angeles
  • Paccekabuddha (“solitary buddha” or “a buddha on their own”)
  • Various translations of dhammas (5 Hindrances, 5 Aggregates of Clinging, 6 Internal and External Sense Bases, 7 Factors of Enlightenment, 4 Noble Truths) the Fourth Foundations of Mindfulness, as:
    • phenomena
    • contents of mind
    • objects of mind
    • mental objects, etc.
  • The significance of the Satipatthana Sutta now often being translated as The Discourse on the Establishing of Mindfulness instead of The Four Foundations of Mindfulness
  • Turning towards knowledge of the passing away and reappearance of beings in the second watch of the night of the Buddha’s enlightenment

Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!

The last words of the Buddha: Handa dani bhikkhave amantayami vo: Vayadhamma sankhara appamadena sampadetha.

Audio only version — Form And Formless | (6/29/2021 — AUA Live | Joshua Dippold and Denny K Miu)

Join “Ask Us Anything LIVE” next month, July 27, 2021 at noon Central Time via:

YouTube [ <<– custom link dennykmiu.com/youtube redirects to Denny’s YouTube channel]

Facebook [ <<– custom link dennykmiu.com/facebook redirects to Denny’s Facebook page]


Currently, for a chance to experience, practice, and receive Yi Jin Jing instructions from Denny — plus more mindful exercise (with me sometimes commenting post-practice) — join in free on Saturdays at 10am and 8pm Central Time:

Published by josh dippold

IntegratingPresence.com

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