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Readings: Buddhist meaning

Forget the wherefore of things,
And we attain to a state beyond analogy;
Movement stopped and there is no movement,
Rest in motion and there is no rest;
When dualism does no more obtain,
Oneness itself abides not.

The ultimate end of things where they cannot go any further,
Is not bound by rules and measures;
In the mind harmonious (with the Way) we have the principle
Of identity, in which we find all strivings quieted;
Doubts and irresolutions are completely done away with,
And the right path is straightened;
There is nothing left behind,
There is nothing retained,
All is void, lucid and self-illuminating,
There is no exertion, no waste of energy -
This is where thinking never attains,
This is where the imagination fails to measure.

In the higher realms of true Suchness
There is neither "self" nor "other"
When direct identification is sought,
We can only say "not two".

In being "not two", all is the same,
All that is comprehended in it;
The wise in the ten quarters,
They all enter into this "Absolute Reason".

This Absolute Reason is beyond all quickening (time) and extending (space),
For it one instant is ten thousand years;
Whether we see it or not,
It is manifest everywhere in all the ten quarters.

Infinitely small things are as large as things can be,
For here no external conditions obtain;
Infinitely large things are as small as small things can be,
For objective limits are here of no consideration.

What is is the same as what is not,
What is not is the same as what is:
Where this state of things fails to obtain,
Indeed, no tarrying there.

One in All,
All in One -
If only this is realized,
No more worry about you"re not being perfect.

When Mind and each believing mind are not divided,
And undivided are each believing mind and Mind,
This is where words fail;
For it is not of the past, present and future.

(Part of Seng-Ts'an, 'On Believing in Mind', in Buddhist Scriptures, Penguin, p. 171)


Dharmachari Vessantara is talking about a Buddhist intense high level meditation practice and its effects:

So on the arising of the Bhodicitta, it is as if we were suddenly possessed, taken over by a Transcendental motivation, a force which erupts into consciousness and completely reverses the centripetal 'what-I-have-I-hold' tendency of our egotictical nature, and starts to transform us into an outflowing fountain, pouring the waters of Great Compassion onto all sentient beings. We may have ben practising the Dharma for years - meditating, performing puja, and giving of our time and energy - and making steady but hardly spectacular progress. But then one day a force more powerful than 'us' takes over within us, a force which wants to give, to help, to rescue beings far more strongly than we had ever believed possible....

Although it is the arising of the Bodhicitta that causes him to enter the first bhumi, it is only on the achievement of the eighth that the Bodhisattva goes beyond any possibility of falling from the Bodhisattva path and becomes an irreversible Bodhisattva. It is as if even once the Bodhicitta has arisen a struggle can take place within the mind of the Bodhisattva. The old, unregenerate parts of his personality may 'kick back', and he may be at times tempted to reverse his Vow, which would have extremely serious consequences. The Bodhisattva, through the arising of the Bhodicitta, knows that he is not separate from the life around him. We might even say that he is Life - or the evolutionary force in the universe - become conscious of itself. As such he stands shoulder to shoulder with all life, helping and guiding it to grow and evolve. So for him to turn his back on his vision of helping all beings would be for Life to turn against itself, for Life to turn suicidal.

Thus the reading tells us that the Bhodisattva's purpose is to bring along and, to use another religious language, save all life.

[Dharmachari Vessantara, 'The Boddhissatva Ideal', Puja and the Transformation of the Heart, Windhorse Publications, 34 and 39-40. ]