Thursday, September 22, 2011

By any other name

By any other name

What if we could find the source of everything and in the finding realize that this source is an every-present reality that is closer than our own breath? And furthermore discover that this source is indiscriminate and spilling over with compassion and wisdom? Would anyone believe such an outrageous thing? How could that possibly be in light of what we see in our world today where discrimination, anger and dissention prevail?

It would take a real leap to put these two visions together yet the Diamond Sutra says it is so. It would be like a fish swimming in water but not aware of the water, or a bird flying through the air not knowing air. In this sutra the Buddha reminds us that the teaching contained here does not come from buddhas, rather buddhas come from this teaching. For this teaching is the diamond body, the Dharmakāya, which buddhas realize and teach to others.

Such a big and strange sounding word: “Dharmakaya”. What can it mean, this source of buddhas and us? Whatever it might be, so the teaching goes is ever-present and never leaves us. Buddhas come from there and so do we. Fathoming such a thing requires some code-breaking like the Rosetta Stone that allowed understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphics.  Bodhidharma provides the necessary code. He said, “To say that the real Dharmakāya of the Buddha resembles the Void is another way of saying that the Dharmakāya is the Void and that the Void is the Dharmakāya ... they are one and the same thing.... When all forms are abandoned, there is the Buddha ... the void is not really void, but the realm of the real Dharma. This spiritually enlightening nature is without beginning ... this great Nirvanic nature is Mind; Mind is the Buddha, and the Buddha is the Dharma.”

When all forms are abandoned, there it is, right where it has always been. It has no beginning and no ending. It is unborn and never dies. It is the air we breathe and the space of our existence. It is everywhere yet nowhere to be found. Jesus called it the kingdom. The Buddha called it mind. The choice of name is irrelevant. A rose by any other name smells as sweet.
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