15 One Dharma One dharma is not different from another. The deluded mind clings to whateve

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

15 One Dharma ~~~~~~~~~~ One dharma is not different from another. The deluded mind clings to whatever it desires. In complete enlightenment, there are no different dharmas, or objects of existence; there is only the one Dharma. But you cannot say that this one, perfect Dharma either exists or does not exist. To exist, it would have to be opposed to something else that does not, and vice versa. Buddhism does not speak in terms of opposites or of the absolute. Nothing can be absolutely affirmed or denied. When you attach to or reject anything, you are in a position of duality with that object. In most religions, if you reach a stage where you identify completely with the universe, it would be considered the ultimate, or great harmony. But, according to Buddha Dharma, this is not the highest stage, since some thought still remains. After you concentrate your scattered mind, you reach the stage of unified mind. There are various levels of unified mind -- the unity of self and universe, the unity of body and mind, and beyond this, just one mind remaining. The unity of self and universe is a joyous experience. You feel at one with the flowers and the trees and with everyone around you. You may feel liberated. But this is still not Ch'an. If there is only one Dharma, it is erroneous to seek the Dharma outside or within yourself. That would create a duality. Some people imagine that getting enlightened is seeing a Buddha nature within themselves. I tell you that there is nothing to see. Whatever you see is an illusion. Buddha nature is empty nature. If you seek something, how can you get to emptiness? The Diamond Sutra says that there is no Dharma form and also that there is nothing that is not the form of the Dharma. Thus we should not become attached to either existence or emptiness. Using mind to cultivate mind -- Is this not a great mistake? When you practice, you are using your mind to work on your mind. You use a deluded thought, the method, to reduce your other deluded thoughts. But the real Ch'an is methodless. No-method is to practice with nothing in your mind, and to be clearly aware that there is nothing in your mind. Moment by moment, maintain the state of no-thought. If a thought arises, just return to no-thought. If I ask you a question while you were in this state you would answer spontaneously. If you have to think about what to say, your mind is already moving. Nowadays, it is impossible for most to maintain this state of mind. In the past, practitioners were able to put in twenty or more years of solid practice. It is difficult for one with a daily work routine to do this. But you should still be aware that although you rely on a method, whether it be breath counting, kung-an, or reciting the Buddha's name, it is not the true Ch'an. The true Ch'an transcends all methods. The erring mind begets tranquility and confusion; In enlightenment there are no likes or dislikes. Before enlightenment, people distinguish between a quiescent state, which they call "nirvana," and a chaotic state, which they call "samsara." They want to leave samsara behind and enter nirvana. But seeking to leave the world of noise and confusion to get to a peaceful place is like looking for a rabbit with horns. There is no Buddha Dharma to be found outside of this world. In the Platform Sutra, the Sixth Patriarch says that to leave the world is to be in the world. The true practitioner does not despise a chaotic environment, nor does he need to go deep into the mountains. He just flows with causes and conditions. Wherever he is, that is his place of practice. He does not feel cramped in a crowded place, nor does he feel lonely in an isolated place. * * * * * * * *


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank