First, learn the preliminaries.
Think that all phenomena are like dreams.
Examine the nature of unborn awareness.
Let even the remedy itself go free on its own.
Settle in the nature of basic cognition, the essence.
Between sessions, consider phenomena as phantoms.
Train in joining, sending and taking together.
Do this by riding the breath.
Three objects, three poisons, three bases of virtue.
Train with phrases in every mode of behavior.
Religion is not a science. Religion is not a science in the sense physics, mathematics and chemistry are sciences, but still it is a science because it is the ultimate knowing: the word science means knowing. And if religion is not a science, what else can be? It is the highest knowing; it is the purest knowing.
Ordinary science is knowledge, not knowing; religion is knowing itself. Ordinary science is object-oriented – it knows something, hence it is knowledge. Religion is not object-oriented; it has no object, it knows nothing. Knowing knows itself, as if the mirror is reflecting itself. It is utterly pure of all content; hence religion is not knowledge but knowing.
Science is a lower kind of knowing, religion is a higher kind. Religion is Philosophia Ultima: the ultimate knowing. The difference between the two is not of the spirit – the spirit is the same – but the difference is certainly of purity.
Science is mixed with much mud. Religion is pure essence, pure fragrance. The mud has disappeared; the lotus has appeared. And at the ultimate stage even the lotus has disappeared, only the fragrance abides. These are the three stages of knowing: the mud, the lotus, and the fragrance.
Religion cannot be grasped – because there is no object in it, but still it can be understood. It cannot be explained, but it can be experienced. There is no way of informing you about religion, because it cannot be reduced to information. But you can be shown the way, the path to it – fingers pointing to the moon. The fingers are not the moon, obviously, but the fingers can point to the moon.
These “Seven Points of Mind Training” of the great master Atisha, are fingers, seven fingers pointing to the moon. Don’t be caught by the fingers, don’t become too much obsessed with the fingers. That is not the point, that will be missing the point. Use the fingers and forget them, and look where the fingers are pointing. And when you see the moon, who bothers about the fingers? Who remembers them? They automatically become nonessential; they disappear.