Four-stage Education

Four-stage Education
Ever since establishing Ling Jiou Mountain (LJM) in 1984, Ven. Chan Master has been teaching meditation and actively promoting the idea of a “global family for love and peace.” In 1998 he fi rst proposed his “four-stage training program” centering on the practice of “peace meditation.” Following the lead of Chan Master Hsin Tao, LJM has been continuous implementing the idea and action of “Love Earth, Love Peace.”

In the words of Chan Master Hsin Tao, “I've always held fast to emulated the Buddha's path of awakening; I have a strong sense of connection with the Buddha and Guanyin. This concept of the four-stage training came to me just before beginning a meditation retreat in the fall of 1998. At that time the MWR was nearing completion, and I found that this kind of systematic practice would complement its central mission.” Based on the Buddhist scriptures describing the path which leads to enlightenment, Chan Master Hsin Tao has formulated a system of practice referred to as the “four-stage training” consisting of the Agama stage; the Prajña stage; the Saddharma-Pundárika stage; and the Avatamsaka stage.

Chan Master Hsin Tao emphasizes that whoever has a proper understanding of the Buddhadharma and practices correctly will inevitably attain Buddhahood. Yet for most this great undertaking requires many lifetimes to bring to completion. Thus LJM's four-stage training includes a range of practices so that people of all ages and backgrounds can practice in a way which suits their individual requirements as they enter into the “sea of awakening.”

With “peace meditation” as the central practice common to each stage, the four-stage training begins with the cultivation of renunciation and compassion and then commences to the generation of bodhicitta and the awareness of interdependence which characterize the bodhisattva path. In this way, carried forward by the force of his vows, the practitioner treads the path which culminates in Buddhahood.