The most venerable teachers have great compassion; I bow with respect at their feet.
2’’ In particular, how to train in the last two perfections
Training in the last two perfections, in particular, is the way to cultivate meditative serenity and insight because serenity and insight are included under the perfections of meditative stabilization and wisdom respectively. This section has six parts:
1. The benefits of cultivating serenity and insight
2. Showing that these two include all states of meditative concentration
3. The nature of serenity and insight
4. Why it is necessary to cultivate both
5. How to be certain about their order
6. How to train in each (Chapters 2-26)
(a) The benefits of cultivating serenity and insight
All of the mundane and supramundane good qualities of the Mahayana and Hinayana are the result of serenity and insight. The Sutra Unravelling the Intended Meaning says:
Maitreya, you should know that all mundane and supramundane virtuous qualities, whether of sravakas, bodhisattvas, or tathagatas, are the result of meditative serenity and insight.
Qualm: Are not serenity and insight good qualities in the mind-stream of someone who has reached them through meditation? How is it possible for all good qualities to result from those two?
Reply: As will be explained, actual serenity and insight are good qualities in the mind-stream of someone who has attained them through meditation, so all the good qualities of the Mahayana and Hinayana do not result from them. However, concentrations which at least involve one-pointedness on a virtuous object are classified with serenity; virtuous cognitions that distinguish an ultimate or conventional object are classified with insight. This is what the sutra means in stating that all of the virtuous qualities of the three vehicles result from serenity and insight, so there is no contradiction.
With that same purport, the Sutra of Cultivating Faith in the Mahayana states:
Child of good lineage, this list should inform you that faith in the Mahayana of the bodhisattvas—and indeed, everything resulting from the Mahayana—comes from accurately reflecting on facts and meanings with an undistracted mind.
An undistracted mind is mental one-pointedness, the serenity aspect, while accurate reflection on facts and meanings refers to discerning wisdom, the insight aspect. Thus, you must achieve all good qualities of the two vehicles through both (1) sustained analysis with discerning wisdom and (2) one-pointed focus on the object of meditation. You do not achieve them through one-sided practice of either analytical meditation or stabilizing meditation.
Also, the Sutra Unravelling the Intended Meaning states:
Once people have cultivated insight
And serenity, they are free
From the bondage of dysfunctional tendencies
And from the bondage of signs.
Here, “dysfunctional tendencies” refers to latent propensities in your mind-stream which can produce increasing degrees of misconceptions; “signs” refers to ongoing attachments to erroneous objects, which foster those propensities. Ratnakarasanti’s Instructions for the Perfection of Wisdom says that insight eliminates the former, while serenity eliminates the latter.
These are the benefits attributed to “serenity” and “insight,” but even when the terms serenity and insight are not used, there are similar statements about the benefits of meditative stabilization and wisdom. Realize that such statements describe the benefits of serenity and insight.
Lamrim Chenmo Pg13L01-Pg15L07