5: Perfect it is, like vast emptiness

圓同太虚     Perfect it is, like vast emptiness

無欠無餘     With nothing wanting, nothing superfluous

良由取捨     When you grasp this and reject that

所以不如     You cannot see its suchness

That singleness is known as emptiness, wherein the universe does not exist in the beginning, end or middle, but by which the universe is pervaded at all times. – Adi Shankara

The Tathagata also teaches, for the sake of all beings, that verily the Self is in all phenomena. (Mahaparinirvana Sutra, Chapter Three).

Who can guess how much tranquillity has been reflected to man from the azure sky, over whose unspotted deeps the winds forevermore drive flocks of stormy clouds, and leave no wrinkle or stain? – Ralph Waldo Emerson (Nature)

Huang-po (d. 850):

It is told again by the Tathagata that this Dharma is perfectly empty and unbroken. By Dharma is meant bodhi. That is, this pure Mind, source of all things, is the very same in all sentient beings. In all the Buddha-lands, and also in all other worlds together with their mountains, oceans, etc., form and formless, all is the same, and no marks distinguish one thing from another. This pure Mind, source of all things, is always perfect and illuminating and all-pervading. People are ignorant of this and take what they see or hear or think of or know for Mind itself;* their insight is then veiled and unable to penetrate into the essence itself, which is clear and illuminating. When you realize no-mind without any interference, the essence itself is revealed to you. It is like the sun coming out: its illumination penetrates the ten quarters and nothing obstructs its passage. (Suzuki, 1935, p. 81)

*I.e., devotees mistake religious ideas such as the historical Buddha and the Western Paradise (Sukhavati) for the true Dharma, which is “sameness.”

The Buddha:

     “… one who knows himself as nondual, he wisely knows both Buddha and Dharma. And why? He develops a self which consists of all things; for all things are dependent on the self for their being (atma-svabhava-niyata). One who wisely knows the nondual Dharma wisely knows also the higher truths. From the comprehension of the nondual Dharma follows the comprehension of the higher truths, and from the comprehension of self follows the comprehension of everything belonging to the triple world. ‘The comprehension of self’, that is the reality beyond all things . . .”  (Conze, “Perfect Insight,” The Questions of Suvikrantavikramin)


34. Trust in its Perfection

1. How all-pervading is the great Tao! It can go left and right.

2. The ten thousand things depend upon it for their life, and it refuses them not. The merit it accomplishes, it does not claim. It loves and nourishes the ten thousand things, yet it plays not the lord. Forever free of tendencies, it can be called humble. The ten thousand things return to it, yet it plays not the lord. It can be called great.

3. Therefore

The holy man until the very end does not strive to be great; only thus can he realize his greatness. (Suzuki & Carus, 1913)

Conze, Edward (2002). Perfect Wisdom: The Short Prajnaparamita Texts. England: BPG.

D. T. Suzuki (1935). Manual of Zen Buddhism.

D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus (1913). The Canon of Reason and Virtue (Tao Te Ching). (https://www.sacred-texts.com/tao/crv/crv040.htm)

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