14. The spiritual path: paths and grounds


Is Enlightenment possible? Through what stages is it reached? The Buddha brought to light three distinct Enlightenments which constitute the culmination of the path of his three categories of disciples - auditors, solitary realizers and bodhisattvas. The one attained by the latter constitutes the complete Enlightenment of a Buddha. Each of these Enlightenments is reached at the end of a specific path, composed of five major stages, called spiritual paths. These teachings invite us to explore them.


Through fundamental treatises, such as Arya Asaṅga's Yogācārabhūmi or The Sublime Ornament of the Three Vehicles - a Presentation of the Grounds and Paths of Könchok Jigme Wangpo, Rinpoche describes with extraordinary rigor and clarity how practitioners come to enter the path that is specific to them, before progressing through five spiritual paths:
    1. The path of accumulation
    2. The path of preparation
    3. The path of seeing
    4. The path of meditation
    5. The path beyond training
He thoroughly explains for each of these paths the main practices implemented, the difficulties that may be encountered, and the qualities that emerge. He also details how, for Bodhisattvas, the path of seeing and the path of meditation are composed of ten spiritual grounds.


These teachings constitute a true topology of Enlightenment. They show us how step by step an ordinary being progresses until they fully manifest their infinite potential for love, compassion and wisdom. Through them, you will have a precise idea of the road ahead, you will know the obstacles you may meet as well as their remedies, and beyond that you will gain an intimate certainty regarding the existence of Enlightenment.

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