Life is suffering. We have suffering from both inside and outside, mentally and environmentally. At such unstable situation, we do not have a favorable practice atmosphair. All the sufferings are the results of our past karma in mind, speech and body, we are helpless for what has happened. In order to change the situation, Lord Buddha taught us to create new good cause seed now, so that we will harvest good result in the future. At least we will have a good practicing conditions which is beneficial to our mind and body. Human and Heavenly Realm practice focuses on stopping bad karma and endorsing good karma. As a result of that, we will get better and better. If we practice good, we will get rebirth next life in human and heaven realm with a easy life condition which will support our Buddhist practice. We can say this path as Human and Heavenly Realm Path Vehicle. The reason to call it vehicle, is because vehicle is a transportation tool to bring us from one place to another. This vehicle brings us to human and heavenly realm places.
Human Realm Vehicle: 3 refugees, 5 vows are used as vehicle, it can transport us to be rebirth to human realm. Therefore, call the path Human Path Vehicle.
Heavenly Realm Vehicle: 10 good karmic actions, 4 dhyanas, 4 immaterial states are used as vehicle, it can transport us to be rebirth to heavenly realm. Therefore, call the path Heavenly Realm Vehicle.
Human Realm Vehicle
The objects of refugee have two level: inner and outer
The Three Jewels of outer refugee are:
- the Buddha: portraits of Lord Buddha in any kind of form.
- the Dharma: the teachings in any kind of form.
- the Sangha: bhikkhu and bhikkhuni
The Three Jewels of inner refugee are:
- The 5 components of Dharmakaya: precepts, samadhi, prajna, nirvana and the wisdom of nirvana.
- The truth of nirvana.
- The realization of mind. Like the mindful realization of Sotapanna, Sakadagami, Anāgāmi, and Arahat and Boddhisattvas
The purpose of taking refugee is to lead us to get enlightenment of our mind.
Reference reading about taking refugee:
The state of an arhat is considered in the Theravada tradition to be the proper goal of a Buddhist. Four stages of attainment are described in Pali texts: (1) the state of the “stream-enterer”—i.e., a convert (sotapanna)—achieved by overcoming false beliefs and doubts regarding the Buddha, the teaching (dhamma), and the order (sangha), (2) the “once-returner” (sakadagamin), who will be reborn only once in this realm, a state attained by diminishing lust, hatred, and illusion, (3) the “nonreturner” (anagamin), who, after death, will be reborn in a higher heaven, where he will become an arhat, a state attained by overcoming sensuous desire and ill will, in addition to the attainments of the first two stages, and (4) the arhat. Except under extraordinary circumstances, a man or woman can become an arhat only while a monk or nun.
Five Moral Precepts
abstaining from the destruction of life.
abstaining from taking that which is not given.
abstaining from sexual misconduct.
abstaining from falsehood.
abstaining from intoxicants that cloud the mind and cause carelessness.
Heavenly Realm Vehicle
10 wholesome ways of action:
a. With regards to body:
- not killing
- not stealing
- not committing sexual misconducts
b. With regards to speech:
- not lying
- not speaking frivolously
- not speaking duplicitly
- not speaking harshly
c. With regards to mind:
- not craving or lusting
- not being angry
- not being ignorant or having wrong views
Four dhyanas-- Rupajhanas
- The first dhyana level which is accomplished in this way has five features: conception, discernment, joy, physical wellbeing and samadhi. As the meditator reaches this first Jhana, he can meditate without being disturbed by any thought or desire, though thoughts are still there.
- The second dhyana, which is even more peaceful, has four features: the perfect clarity in which conception and discernment have been relinquished, joy, physical wellbeing and samadhi. All intellectual processes cease. There is only rapture, happiness, and the object.
- The third dhyana, which is more peaceful still, has five features: equanimity in which the concept of joy has been abandoned, mindfulness, watchful awareness, physical wellbeing and samadhi. Joy disappears.
- The fourth dhyana, which is called the ultimate dhyana because it is yet more peaceful, has four features: the neutral sensation in which the sensation of physical wellbeing has been abandoned, mindfulness, the mental formation of equanimity, and samadhi. Even happiness disappears, leading to a state with neither pleasure nor suffering. The Buddha described the Jhanas as "the footsteps of the tathagata".
Traditionally, this fourth Jhana is seen as the beginning of attaining psychic powers.
Arupajhanas---The Four Immaterial States
- infinite space, the meditator discovers that there is no object, but only an infinite space, which is empty. This perception motivates the interest of claiming arupajhanas.
- infinite consciousness, it becomes obvious that space has no existence. There is only infinite consciousness.
- infinite nothingness, the feeling that there is no consciousness, but nothingness.
- neither perception nor non-perception,