金刚上师林钰堂瑜伽士开示录

 

Reply to Fundamental Questions on Dharma


Today disciple Wisdom Lotus raised the following questions on fundamental concepts of Dharma to me:

Q: How should we understand:

- the Suchness

- the Source (of all that exist in all times and dimensions)

Also, if there is no self, who experiences all this and who is to be liberated/ enlightened?

A: I hope my explanations below will help all with similar questions to grasp the essence of Dharma:

″Suchness″ is a concept used in Dharma in attempting to describe the real situation of all our experiences. We, knowingly or not, tend to assume that many parts of our experiences have their independently existing substance, namely, even when we don′t experience them, they are still there as we have experienced. However, if we scrutinize such assumptions, we must admit that it is only what we assume and can easily turns out to be otherwise. Hence, the real situation of our experiences is that they are experienced exactly as such, and neither more nor less—anything beyond our direct experience exists only in our mental activities.

″The Source (of all that exist in all times and dimensions) ″ as you mentioned, is named in Buddhist teachings as ″Sunyata″, and I prefer to call it as ″Blank Essence″. For theoretical explanations, you might want to read my work, Wisdom and Compassion in Limitless-Oneness. Here, instead, we just reflect on our experiences as they are, and we will realize that all are transient and cannot be grasped. Even though it is like a running stream, our awareness, inseparable from our experiences, is there, and this continues beyond this life. This, which we cannot describe, is ″the source″ you mentioned.

″No self″ means an independently existing entity cannot be found in our experiences. All there is in our experiences are conditional and connected with all the rest. When one comprehends this to be the real situation, there is no question of who experiences all this, who is to be liberated/enlightened? These questions arise only in the mind of one who has a concept of ″self″. The ocean is just there with all its evolutions; it never asked such questions. When Dharma talks about liberation/enlightenment, it is only setting a goal for deluded beings to help them wake up. Ultimately, there is no distinction of Buddha/sentient being because all are in oneness.

 

August 13, 2020
El Cerrito, California

 

 

 

 

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