In Medium Detail: The Three Points to Practice in Engaging Thought of Awakening(2)

Previously, I discussed the concise way or the simplistic explanation of the thought of awakening. Today, we will touch upon the topic of engaging in thought of awakening in medium detail.

The explanation in Medium Detail is to train yourself in avoiding the four negative factors that will deter you in your practice and instead focus on adopting the four positive qualities that will enable you to engage in the thought of awakening. These four negative factors and four positive qualities are explained in the “Heap of Jewels” sutras which are a collection of sutras.

According to the Heap of Jewels sutras, if you possess the following four negative factors, you will forget the thought of awakening:

  1. Deceiving the teachers and those worthy of worship
  2. Causing others to regret deeds that are not regrettable
  3. Disparaging and criticizing sentient beings who have entered the Mahayana path and
  4. Lack of altruistic motivation leading to wrongful and deceptive conduct towards others.

Also, according to the Heap of Jewels sutra, possessing the following four positive qualities will enable thoughts of awakening from one's very birth in all lifetimes:

  1. Never lying deliberately
  2. Maintaining an altruistic attitude towards all sentient beings without any pretenses or biases
  3. Perceiving all Bodhisattvas as being manifestations of the Buddha and proclaiming their virtues and praising them in all the directions and
  4. Encouraging others towards thought of full awakening rather than upholding views of limited awakening.

Therefore, if one abandons the four negative qualities for the four positive qualities, the thought of awakening will naturally take root in one's mind without the obstacles caused by one's own delusions. However, to come to this point, one must understand both the positive factors that can advance one's practice as well as the negative factors that can hinder one's practice.

–Khöndung Asanga Vajra, Sep 2019