True CessationsPosted: July 2, 2012
A true cessation is a realization. A realization which is the fruit of a Path. It is normally assumed that ‘cessation’ refers to a going out of the mind, or delusions, or the self etc. But the cessation refers to the ending of a Path. The Path ends in a Result, a fruit. Since paths (normal paths or ordinary ones) deal with delusions or aspects of our own mind they may appear synonymous, but they aren’t. A person enters a path to deal with the suffering of a delusion or to gain a realization. When the path is done a realization appears and the initial delusion, the original intention, disappears along with the path. If you bring the path back then the realization will fade and the delusion or ordinary mind will reappear. So, this is referred to as crossing the river, or ocean, and refers to the time in the mind when you are ready to abandon ordinary thoughts, or ordinary minds. There is no going back, or rather it would cost you a lot of effort to go back and create an ordinary mind.
It is interesting to note whether the process of destroying totally the boat (path) that you used to cross the river is normal and essential or whether Bodhisattvas retain this aspect of allowing the mind to return to normal in order to help others. There is dispute between the different paths (schools) as to whether and why you would do that.