Thursday, May 13, 2010

Entering the Stream, Oneness Without Forms

"...always practicing freedom from thought... always remain unpossessing... Understanding that false thoughts are empty and null, he therefore says the universe is not the universe." -- The Sutra of Hui-Neng, Grand Master of Zen, translated by Thomas Cleary

Rain water does not come from heaven...
[but] it causes all living beings to be refreshed... merging into one body. So starts the introduction to this Diamond sutra as spoken by Zen Master Hui-Neng in the translated version by Thomas Cleary. "The wisdom of Prajna is neither great nor small... These differences are due to the differences in the delusion and enlightenment of the minds of all living beings."
 

Recalling that all sutras and teachings have been set up on the basis of human beings, it could not be so without them. They can be based only on the nature of intelligence. Human beings then, are not Buddhas; the moment they become enlightened, human beings become Buddhas. Thus even though there are four states of realization, their forms are originally non-dual. The origins of this teaching while most often identified with the meditation school or the Mahayana sects of Tibet is universally known among Buddhist thinkers.
Can a Stream-Enterer think, "I have attained
the  fruition of stream-entering?" Stream enterers go against the stream of birth and death. They are unaffected by objects of the senses, such is their devotion to their practice. Stream-Enterers are ones who enter the stream, yet do not enter into anything. The translator, Cleary, writes in his book on the Diamond Sutra,  "Stream enterers detach from coarse afflictions and thereby enter into the stream without entering into anything." They are like a Matador in a bull ring, the bull charges them, but they make a slight turn and the bull rushes by. The man and the animal are in the ring together, but neither is affected by the other. This is a concentrated practice. "Stream entering is the first fruition of practice."