Here’s the complete list of points to gauge our spiritual progress. These 7 qualities help us improve our Buddhist practice. If we do not have them, then we are still miles away from enlightenment. If we possess them, then we can enjoy them in our daily life because they also make our life better.
- Unwavering faith
- Unwavering effort
- Unstained precepts
- Humble Awareness
- Non-stop Learning
- Effortless Giving
- Concentrated Wisdom
The last point to gauge our progress is concentrated Wisdom. It is note worthy that supernatural powers does not make it to the list! Walking on water, flying in the air and producing light is worthless in Buddhist practice because we have boat, plane and light bulb!
Concentrated Wisdom is the last because it is produced when we have the previous 6 qualities. It is vital in awakening. It is made up of 2 qualities.
Concentration in Buddhist practice refers to a state of absorption during practice of meditation or chanting. The mind is so focused that all distractive thoughts no longer influence the mind. The 1st time that you experience such a state will be profoundly blissful because it is a completely new experience. You will recognise the pureness. You will know that you hit a new milestone.
But this is not an end to itself.
When the mind is free from distraction, it can examine our state of “being” clearly. This is the time when we examine ourselves to realise Non-self / emptiness.
When we succeed, we gain wisdom. We know that there is non-self and the “self” we are so used to, is just an illusion. It is beyond book knowledge.
We live our life anew with this new wisdom. We live life differently.
The starting point of letting go of our “self” help us see the world in a different angle. That leads to more insights and more wisdom. How we function, how we interact, how things comes together and produce sufferings etc .
May all be well and happy.
Jhana and insight, hand-in-hand
There’s no jhana for one with no discernment, no discernment for one with no jhana. But one with both jhana & discernment: he’s on the verge of Unbinding.
— Dhp 372
“Jhana: jhana“, edited by Access to Insight. Access to Insight (BCBS Edition), 30 November 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca4/samma-samadhi/jhana.html .