The contents of Mahayana Zengong teachings include the aspects of mind development and physiological cultivation. Both aspects are complementary to each other. Any progress made in one aspect will help improving the other.
1. The Aspect of Mind Development – Eight Levels of Spiritual Development
The First Level – Conditional Development – This is the practice for bodhisattvas in the beginning stage. This practice is to complement Level One through Level Four of the Nine Physiological Cultivations. A bodhisattva should be able to project the Chi energy and super Chi energy to a distance from several meters to tens of thousands of kilometers.
The Second Level – Realization Development – This is the practice for bodhisattvas in the first Bhumi level. This practice is to complement Level Four through Level Six of the Nine Physiological Cultivations. A bodhisattva should be able to apply the super Chi energy within our galaxy.
The Third Level – Manifestation Development – This is the practice for bodhisattvas in the second Bhumi level. The super Chi energy of the bodhisattva can be utilized within the range of one hundred galaxies.
The Fourth Level – Transformation Development – This is the practice for bodhisattvas in the third Bhumi level. The super Chi energy of the bodhisattva can be utilized to achieve the transformation/transmutation between mass and energy within the bodhisattva’s own body. At this stage, conventional weapons have no effect on the bodhisattvas.
The Fifth Level – “Uncontrived-Application” Development – This is the practice for bodhisattvas in the fourth to the eighth Bhumi levels. The super Chi energy of the bodhisattva can be used to emanate numerous subtle bodies. The bodhisattva’s energy becomes perpetual, unlimited, and is beyond transformation/transmutation of mass and energy within the self body.
The Sixth Level – “Manifested-Ground” Development – This is the practice for bodhisattvas in the ninth Bhumi level. The super Chi energy of the bodhisattva can be utilized to manifest numerous Purelands as well as material worlds in the galaxy.
The Seventh Level – Full-Awakening Development – This is the practice for bodhisattvas in the tenth Bhumi level. The super Chi energy of the bodhisattva and the energy of the universe becomes unified as one. That is, the bodhisattva actualizes the Unity of the Ten Greatnesses.
The Eighth Level – The Da Zi Zai Development – This is the practice for bodhisattvas, who have attained enlightenment, in the supreme enlightened Bhumi level. The bodhisattvas have actualized the perfection of the Unity of the Ten Greatnesses. The body, mind, and energy of such bodhisattvas completely dissolve with the whole universe including all beings and all things of the Form and Formless Realms and fully attain the state of Oneness. It is omnipresent. It encompasses the dharmadhatu without hindrance. The universe and “I” are inseparable, indivisible. I am the universe and the universe is me. The potential of the Great I, or the true egoless self, reaches to the fullest, perfected possibility.
2. The Aspect of Physiological Cultivation – Nine Levels of Physiological Cultivation.
The First Level – Cultivation of Harmony – This training is to harmonize, focus, and strengthen the Chi energy of one’s own body in order to achieve the free flow of Chi energy throughout the channels, knots, and chakras.
The Second Level – Cultivation of the Use of Force – This practice trains one’s ability to project Chi energy and absorb cosmic energy.
The Third Level – Cultivation of the Use of Chi – This cultivation is to combine the achievement of the first and second levels and the stored cosmic energy for performing remote healing. Also, the Chi energy can be used in the water cleansing and blessing method and the Vajra-Finger technique for healing, and so on.
The Fourth Level – Cultivation of the Use of Mind – Here the Chi energy is transformed into mind energy so that one is able to heal sentient beings with various mental and physical illnesses within a distance of ten thousand kilometers.
The Fifth Level – Cultivation of the At-Will Power – This training results in the ability to engage in long distance remote healing which transcends space and time. This remote healing can be used to heal all manner of physical and mental ailments anywhere on the planet.
The Sixth Level – Cultivation of the Use of Emptiness – Cultivations from the sixth to the ninth level allow one to fully develop human potential to its fullest, inconceivable capability which is beyond the scope of modern science. For example, one can achieve the transformation/transmutation of the matter and energy of the self body. One can emanate innumerable subtle bodies to freely and independently carry out different Buddha activities throughout our galaxy.
The Seventh Level – Cultivation of the Use of Energy – The practice enables bodhisattvas to apply energy to numerous galaxies.
The Eighth Level – Cultivation of Awakening Power – In this level bodhisattva is able to apply energy throughout the universe. This can only be possible for the bodhisattvas who attain the eighth Bhumi level and higher.
The Ninth Level – Cultivation of the Power of Da Zi Zai – Bodhisattvas attain the inseparability of the Chi energy, mind energy, and the universe energy to achieve a complete Oneness. The energy can be applied to the entire universe. This is the perfection state of a Buddha.
(Translator’s note: This article was first appeared in the issue of Buddhist Newsweek, no. 138, October 22, 1992.)
(c) USMZAS 1998