Saturday, September 21, 2002


To light a candle is to cast a shadow.

-Anonymous Zen Saying

What is meant by non-duality, Mahatmi? It means that light and shade, long and short, black and white, can only be experienced in relation to each other; light is not independent of shade, nor black of white. There are no opposites, only relationships. In the same way, nirvana and the ordinary world of suffering are not two things but related to each other. There is no nirvana except where the world of suffering is; there is no world of suffering apart from nirvana. For existence is not mutually exclusive.

-Lankavatara Sutra (Leng4 Qie2 Jing1)

This relates to the Heart Sutra entry below. Form and emptiness are one and not different. Samsara and Nirvana are not ultimately not conflicting and do not exist independently in order to have meaning. This realisation of ultimate non-duality is why Buddhas who have attained Nirvana can re-manifest as Bodhisattvas with great ease in Samsara. This is possible only when there is no attachment to either Nirvana or Samsara. This reminds me of the following quote I read in a book by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu. Not sure if it is attributed to the Buddha, but it does sum up the essence of the Buddha's teachings in terms of liberation. It has the same meaning as the literal translation of the Heart Sutra mantra-

"Nothing whatsoever, should be clung to." reply

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Hopefully Somewhat Enlightening & Entertaining Thoughts... Stuff discovered on the path to the natural unshakable peacefulness of a stone...