Mind & Consciousnesses
Ki to Revitalization
Wisdom-Insight Cultivation

I just had an excellent experience meditating on the “Isson Shiji” image like in this faded painting. Via visual imagery I suddenly seemed to grasp the inter-related-ness of:
1. The 5 Skandhas; that is; consciousness and the four spheres.
Manas and the five four marks of existence.
Dhyana & the four foundations of mindfulness.
2. The ‘Provisional’ Buddha and four traditional attendants — the four Mahasattva Bodhissatvas. — Fugen, Jizo, Monju, & Kannon as Acquired Awakening plus Virtue, Forbearance, Wisdom, & Compassion earned by merit. Also, That Yakuo {Healing} and Maitreya {Selfless Loving Kindness] might fill in for Jizo & Kannon on Nichiren’s Ten Worlds Great Mandala.
3. The Original Buddha and four attendants — the four Bodhisattvas from the Underground as Amala plus Purity, Joy, Eternity, & Selflessness; attributes inherent in the depths of life.
To start, when our consciousness is polluted, then the four spheres; the body, sensation, cognition, and volition or motives; become impure, greedy actions; unsatisfactory sensations; confusion over impermanence; and the false, self centered, or prideful ego. Traditional concentration and insight practice is a means of observing and reforming the 4 spheres; that is the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. Thus the Provisional Shakyamuni who first awoke in the world represents Acquired Awakening. The Four traditional Bodhisattvas represent the acquired merits of Virtue; Samatabhadra {Fugen} represents purifying the six sensory faculties, Ksitegarbha {Jizo}; patience in dealing with painful sensation; Manjushiro or Monju; wisdom in discerning mutual interdependence and empty nature of existence; and Avalokitesvara {Kanzeon}; selfless compassion overcoming the Ego.
Meanwhile, The Eternal Shakyamuni who awoke in the remote past represents the Amala Consciousness or Innate Awakening. Her attendants; the Four Leaders of the Bodhisattvas from the Underground, represent meritorious qualities inherent in the depths of our lives. Jyogyo, or Pure Conduct, represents innate or unconditioned purity of the body & senses; Arnryugyo, or Steadfast Conduct, represents an enduring bliss that comes from within, Muhengyo, or unlimited conduct, represents the infinity and timelessness of the present moment, and Jogyo, or Superior Conduct, represents the selflessness that is the true self.
Tao-hsien says in the Hokke Mongu Fusho Ki that the four bodhisattvas represent the four virtues of the Buddha’s life: true self, eternity, purity and joy. Among these, Jogyo represents the virtue of true self. Muhengyo literally means no boundary and represents eternity, one of the four virtues of the Buddha’s life. Bodhisattva Anryugyo represents happiness, the unshakable state of life filled with joy. Bodhisattva Jyogyo represents purity; the pure state of life.If you follow that, I was seeing the imagery of One Buddha and Four Attendants as representing the Five Skandhas. I was viewing the Central Buddha as Consciousness; while connecting the 4 Attendants with Physical Form, Sensation, Perception, and Volition. In this way, I was equating Kanjin {vipassana-citta}, or spiritual introspection as taught by Nichiren, with the traditional practices of the 4 foundations of Mindfulness {satipatthana} and Insight Meditation {vipassana}.
Posted in Robin Beck on April 2, 2007 06:35 PM