Dharma: The True Reality

846. To say that the passions may be quieted and destroyed without right reasoning and scriptural teaching is the view and discourse of the philosophers; this is not to be practised by the intelligent. – The Lankavatara Sutra (371)

From the highest point of view I saw that matter is frozen energy, and energy is nothing more than mind in motion. That all of it is just mentation! The whole universe is only a mentation. The whole thing is an image in our minds! — Lester Levenson (2003, p. 119)

It is no small thing, God’s kingdom. If one were to consider all possible worlds God might make, that constitutes God’s kingdom. — Meister Eckhart (Walshe, Vol. II, p. 166)

Nothing is born, yet things are being born; nothing dies and yet things are passing away. Across millions of worlds what is seen simultaneously is like the reflection of the moon in water. — The Lankavatara Sutra (Suzuki, p. 312)

Ignorance creates the universe, desire sustains it, and enlightenment dissolves it! – Lester Levenson

Deepak Chopra:

Some months ago I was in my office looking over a project that needed some cover art, but I knew no professional illustrators. As soon as I had the thought “I wonder whom I can find?” the phone rang. It was my grown daughter, Mallika, calling from India, and when I mentioned my problem, she immediately suggested an Irish artist named Suzanne Malcolm (not her real name). Neither of us had any idea where she lived. I hung up and thought nothing more about it, until that afternoon when a publisher friend called from London. On the off chance, I asked if he knew Suzanne Malcolm, but he didn’t. An hour later he found himself at a cocktail party when the person next to him got a call on his cellular phone. He put it to his ear and said, “Suzanne?”

My publisher friend gave in to a sudden impulse. “Could that possibly be Suzanne Malcolm you’re talking to?” he asked. Astonishingly, it was. My friend took down her telephone number and also asked her to call me. By this time—we are still on the same day—I had flown to Los Angeles for a scheduled lecture. I was early, however, so I pulled my rental car over to the curb; I had no idea exactly where I was. Checking my messages on the cell phone, I found one from Suzanne Malcolm. This was good news, and I dialed the number she had left me.

“Hello?” a woman’s voice answered.
“Suzanne,” I said, introducing myself, “I was wondering whether you could fly over from Dublin. I think I have an art assignment for you.”
“Well, actually, I’m not in Ireland at the moment. I’m in Los Angeles.”
“Really? Where are you staying?” I asked.
“I’m not sure,” she replied. “Oh yes, it’s 3312 Dominic.” I looked outside the car window and felt a shudder pass through me—I was parked directly in front of her house.

The Buddha: (The Lankavatara Sutra)

Lord of Lanka, beings are appearances; they are like figures painted on a wall that is unmoved by them. Lord of Lanka, all that is in the world is devoid of work and action because all things have no reality. The teaching is thus: there is nothing heard, no one hearing. Lord of Lanka, all that is in the world is like an image magically transformed. This is not comprehended by the philosophers and the ignorant. Lord of Lanka, he who thus sees things is the one who sees truthfully. Those who see things otherwise walk in discrimination; as they depend on discrimination, they cling to dualism. It is like seeing one’s own image reflected in a mirror, or one’s own shadow in the water or the moonlight, or seeing one’s shadow in a house, or hearing an echo in a valley. People grasping their own shadows of discrimination (p. 21) uphold the discrimination of dharma and adharma (things and concepts) and, failing to abandon dualism, they go on discriminating and never attain tranquillity. By tranquillity is meant oneness (ekagra), and oneness gives birth to the highest samadhi, which is gained by entering into the Tathagata-matrix (Tathagata-gharba), which is the realm of noble wisdom realised in one’s inmost self. (Suzuki, 1932)

Lester Levenson:

The material world is just an out-projecting of our minds into what we call the world and bodies. And when we realize that it is just an out-projecting of our minds, just a picture out there that we have created, we can very easily change it, even instantly, by changing our thought. When you are in tune and you have a thought, every atom in the universe moves to fulfill your thought. (1993, “Mastering Mind and Matter,” p. 25)

D. T. Suzuki:

“Mind only” (Cittamatra) is an uncouth term. It means absolute mind, to be distinguished from an empirical mind that is the subject of psychological study. When it begins with a capital letter, Cittamatra, it is the ultimate reality on which the entire world of individual objects depends for its value. To realise this truth is the aim of the Buddhist life.

By “what is seen of the Mind-only” is meant this visible world–including that which is generally known as the mind. Our ordinary experience takes this world for something that has its “self-nature,” i.e. existing by itself. But a higher intuition tells us that this is not so, that it is an illusion, and that what really exists is Mind, which being absolute knows no other. All that we see and hear and think of as objects of discriminating consciousness are what rise and disappear in and of the Mind-only.

Ordinarily, all our cognitive apparatus is made to work outwardly in a world of relativity, and for this reason we become deeply involved in it so that we fail to realize the freedom we all intrinsically possess, and as a result we are beset on all sides. To turn away from all this . . . a “turning-about” or “revolution” (paravrittasraya) must take place in our inmost consciousness. This is not however a mere empirical psychological fact to be explained in terms of consciousness. It takes place in the deepest recesses of our being.  (The Lankavatara Sutra, 1932)

Meister Eckhart: (“On Detachment”)

A master called Avicenna declares that the mind of him who stands detached is of such nobility that whatever he sees is true, and whatever he desires he obtains, and whatever he commands must be obeyed. And this you must know for sure: when the free mind is quite detached, it constrains God to itself . . . (Walshe, Vol. III, p. 120)

Yen-shou: (Tsung-ching lu, 961)

Moreover, the monk Fa-tsung obtained freedom in his mind, and was without troubles because he had heard the preaching of the teacher Hui-min. He came to realize that all sense data are the same. If one does not contemplate the mind, everything revolves around the movement of things. For this reason, the Ta-ch-eng Ju-tao An-hsin fa says,

“If you consider something that is right to be right, then there is something that is wrong. If you consider the wrong to be right, then there is nothing that is wrong. One gate of wisdom enters into 100,000 gates of wisdom. If one sees a pillar and sees it to be a pillar, this is to see the appearance of a pillar, and so interpret it to be a pillar. Observe that the mind is the phenomenon of ‘pillar’ without the appearance of the pillar. Therefore, as soon as one sees a pillar, one will seize the phenomenon of ‘pillar’. See all forms and matter as being the same.”

An elegy of the Hua-yen ching says, “All the things of the world take the mind as the master. . . .” (from Jorgensen, p. 387)

D. T. Suzuki:

When a Zen disciple asked Tung-shan, “What is the meaning of Bodhidharma coming from the west?” he said, “Wait until the dark stone turtle begins to talk, when I’ll tell you what is the meaning of the Patriarch’s coming here.”

Tung-shan’s answer to Lung-ya was of the same impossible order when the latter wished to know the meaning of Bodhidharma’s coming, for he said, “Wait until the River Dong flows backward when this will be told to you.” The strange thing was that the river did run backwards and Lung-ya understood the meaning of this remark. (1953, “The Secret Message of Bodhidharma,” p. 235)

Hakuin: (As told to him by the sage Hakuyo)

“The true essence does not exist apart from the Tao; the Tao does not exist apart from the true essence. Once the six desires are dispelled and the working of the five senses is forgotten, the primal, undifferentiated energy will gather to repletion before your very eyes. One morning, you will experience a sudden overturning, and then everywhere, within and without the entire universe, will become a single immense piece of pure essence.

“When that happens, you will realize for the first time that you yourself are a genuine sage, as unborn as heaven and earth, as undying as empty space. At that moment, your efforts to refine the essence will attain fruition. This is not a superficial feat such as raising winds or riding mists, shrinking space, or walking over water, the kind of thing that can be performed by lesser sages. For you, the object is to churn the Great Sea into finest butter, to transform the great Earth into purest gold.” (Waddell, pp. 98-99)

Meister Eckhart: (Sermon Eighty Seven)

For in that essence of God in which God is above being and distinction, there I was myself and knew myself so as to make this man. Therefore I am my own cause according to my essence, which is eternal, and not according to my becoming, which is temporal. Therefore I am unborn, and according to my unborn mode I can never die. According to my unborn mode I have eternally been, am now and shall eternally remain. That which I am by virtue of birth must die and perish, for it is mortal, and so must perish with time. In my birth all things were born, and I was the cause of myself and all things: and if I had so willed it, I would not have been, and all things would not have been. (Walshe, Vol. II, p. 274-275)

The Buddha: (The Lankavatara Sutra)

Said Mahamati, What is meant by the will-body (manomakaya), Blessed One?

The Blessed One replied: It means that one can speedily move unobstructed as he wills; hence the will-body, Mahamati. For instance, Mahamati, the will travels unobstructed over mountains, walls, rivers, trees, etc., no matter how far away they may be, when a man recollects the scenes which he had previously viewed, while his own mind keeps on functioning in his body without the least interruption or hindrance. (Suzuki, 1932, p. 81)

The Buddha: (The Diamond Sutra)

The Lord Buddha continued: “If there were as many river Ganges as there are grains of sand in the river Ganges, and if there were as many Buddha-lands as there are grains of sand in all the innumerable rivers, would these Buddha-lands be numerous?”

Subhuti replied: “Buddha-lands are innumerable.”

The Lord Buddha continued: “Subhuti, within these innumerable worlds are every form of sentient life with all their various mental capacities, dispositions, and temperaments, all alike are fully known to the Tathagatas, and the Tathagatas are filled with compassion for them.  (Goddard and Suzuki, 1932)

Lester Levenson:

“And then all of a sudden powers fell in on me. I could know anything anywhere. I saw there were people just like us on endless numbers of planets.” (2003, p. 70)


Chopra, Deepak (2000). How-to-Know-God: The Soul’s Journey into the Mystery of Mysteries. New York: Harmony Books.

Goddard, Dwight (1932). A Buddhist Bible (First Edition). (http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/bb/index.htm)

Jorgensen, John A. (1979). The Earliest Text of Ch’an Buddhism: The Long Scroll. The Australian National University.

Lanza, Robert (2009). Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe. Dallas, Texas: BenBella Books, Inc. (download)

Levenson, Lester (1993). Keys to the Ultimate Freedom: Thoughts and Talks on Personal Transformation. Sedona Institute. (http://www.freespiritualebooks.com/keys-to-the-ultimate-freedom.html)

Levenson, Lester (2003). No Attachments, No Aversions: The Autobiography of a Master. Lawrence Crane Enterprises.

Suzuki, D. T. (1953). Essays in Zen Buddhism (Second Series). London: Rider and Company.

Suzuki, D. T. (1932). The Lankavatara Sutra: A Mahayana Text. Translated for the first time from the original Sanskrit. (http://lirs.ru/do/lanka_eng/lanka-nondiacritical.htm)

Waddell, Norman (2001). Wild Ivy: The Spiritual Autobiography of Zen Master Hakuin. Shambhala Publications.

M. O’C. Walshe (1987). Meister Eckhart: Sermons & Treatises Volume II. UK: Element Books Limited.

M. O’C. Walshe (1990). Meister Eckhart: Sermons & Treatises Volume III. UK: Element Books Limited.


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