Monday, August 17, 2009

Mahayana, Dharmakaya and Love

"The Dharmakaya of the Buddha is always present, always alive... Vairochana is made of light, peace, flowers, joy..."
-- Cultivating the Mind of Love, by T.N. Hanh

The Mahayana teachings as presented by Suzuki in his book, Outlines of Mahayana Buddhism, are complicated and simple; they're essential and overlooked; it is central to understanding and experience by practitioners of all stripes. Please study Suzuki a bit for yourself. These small essays cannot cover this topic. Indeed they would not; each must struggle them out for ones' self.
And I give my gratitude to my first teacher of all things, my friend, Liang-HuiMei. From her loving presence in my life, a whole world, way, and language was opened to me. I know she is teaching still. Gasho.
Suzuki declares that we are all Bodhisattvas. "As Shakyamuni was a Bodhisattva, so we are all destined to become Bodhisattvas, when, in a certain sense, we understand that we are all one in the Dharmakaya... The Dharmakaya manifests in us as Bodhi (knowledge-intelligence)." As soon as we come to live in this love and intelligence, individual existences are no hindrance to the "turning over" of one's spiritual merits to the service of others. Abandon, says Suzuki, "our selfish thoughts of entering into Nirvana that is conceived to extinguish the fire of heart, leaving only cold ashes of intellect... have sympathy for all, turn over your merits, however small, to the benefit and happiness of others."

This spirit of universal love prevails in all Mahayanism. Nagar-juna in his writings on the Bodhichitta gives a view of the Bodhisattva. He says, "the essential nature of all Bodhisattvas is a great, loving heart... therefore do not cling to the blissful taste produced by the varied methods of mental tranquility (dhyana), do not covet fruit of meritorious deeds... the Bhodisattvas inspired with great energy, mingle with birth and death; they are like Lotus flowers who rise out of the mire, yet remain uncontaminated."

The Bodhichitta, or intelligence-heart, like the Dharmakaya is essentially love and intelligence (karuna and prajna). Suzuki compares the Christ, seeing him to be a Bodhisattva, a Buddha. He says in the West, Jesus, the Christ is perhaps the best, most accessible example available. He writes, "one who understands the nature of bodhichitta sees everything with a loving heart, for love is the essence of the Bodhichitta. The Bodhichitta is the highest essence. The Bodhichitta abiding in the heart of sameness (samata), creates individual means of salvation (upaya).

The Bodhichitta is naturally present in the hearts of all beings. He is a reflex of the Dharmakaya, he has no compulsions; he is free from beginning to end. He has no impurities nor prejudice. Present in the heart of all beings, like the moon, it shines with silvery light on clear, cloudless nights, reflected then in every drop, every mass of water on the earth, reflected like so many stars descended on earth."

No comments: