Stages of Training in Dharma

With this article we come to the last and final of the series in Inward and Outward Realities. In the previous article, I discussed practicing the Dharma. Those who practice the Dharma should train themselves to understand in the following stages:

The training that is easy to learn, gives immediate results, and is suitable for every time, every place, for people of every age and either sex, is to study in the school of this body — a fathom long, a cubit wide, and a span thick — with its perceiving mind in charge. This body has many things, ranging from the crude to the subtle, that are well worth knowing.

The steps of the training:

1. To begin with, know that the body is composed of various physical properties, the major ones being the properties of earth, water, fire, and wind; the minor ones being the aspects that adhere to the major ones: things like color, smell, shape, etc.

These properties are unstable (inconsistent), stressful, and unclean. If you look into them deeply, you will see that there’s no substance to them at all. They are simply impersonal conditions, with nothing worth calling “me” or “mine.” When you can clearly perceive the body in these terms, you will be able to let go of any clinging or attachment to it as an entity, your Self, someone else, this or that.

2. The second step is to deal with mental phenomena (feelings, perceptions, thought-formations, and consciousness). Focus on keeping track of the truth that these are characterized by arising, persisting, and then disbanding. In other words, their nature is to arise and disband, arise and disband, repeatedly. When you investigate to see this truth, you will be able to let go of your attachments to mental phenomena as entities, as your Self, someone else, this or that.

3. Training on the level of practice doesn’t simply mean studying, listening, or reading. You have to practice so as to see clearly with your own mind in the following steps:

a. Start out by brushing aside all external concerns and turn to look inside at your own mind until you can know in what ways it is clear or murky, calm or unsettled. The way to do this is to have mindfulness and self-awareness in charge as you keep aware of the body and mind until you have trained the mind to stay firmly in a state of normalcy, i.e., neutrality.

b. Once the mind can stay in a state of normalcy, you will see mental formations or preoccupations in their natural state of arising and disbanding. The mind will be empty, neutral, and still — neither pleased nor displeased — and will see physical and mental phenomena as they arise and disband naturally, of their own accord.

c. When the knowledge that there is no self to any of these things becomes thoroughly clear, you will meet with something that lies further inside, beyond all suffering and stress, free from the cycles of change — deathless — free from birth as well as death, since all things that take birth must by nature age, grow ill, and die.

d. When you see this truth clearly, the mind will be empty, not holding onto anything. It won’t even assume itself to be a mind or anything at all. In other words, it won’t latch onto itself as being anything of any sort. All that remains is a pure condition of Dharma.

e. Those who see this pure condition of Dharma in full clarity are bound to grow disenchanted with the repeated sufferings of life. When they know the truth of the world and the Dharma throughout, they will see the results clearly, right in the present, that there exists that which lies beyond all suffering. They will know this without having to ask or take it on faith from anyone, for the Dharma is paccattam, i.e., something really to be known for oneself. Those who have seen this truth within themselves will attest to it always.

Dr Surya M Ganduri, PhD. PMP. is the Founder & President of eMBC, Inc., an international firm specializing in strategic and executive leadership development processes that Help People Succeed in an Evolving World. Dr Surya has over 28 years of business experience in management consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, process improvements, organizational development and youth leadership. For more information visit or contact eMBC, Inc., directly at (630) 445-1321.

About Dr. Surya

Using Quantum Physics and business research, Dr. Surya explores the correlation between the science of consciousness and patterns in the business world, to suggest innovative ways of using this wisdom to lead and succeed in a business environment that is constantly evolving at a rapid pace. Self-awareness is the awareness of the self as separate from the thoughts that are occurring at any point in time. Without self-awareness the self perceives and believes the thoughts that are occurring to be who the self is. Self-awareness gives one the option or choice to choose thoughts being thought rather than simply thinking the thoughts that are stimulated from the accumulative events leading up to the circumstances of the moment. Along with his work as an Author, Writer, Blogger and popular Internet Radio Talk Show Host, Dr. Surya is in-demand as a public speaker. Clients include small to large corporations and individuals.
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