色即是空 林鈺堂簡繁轉換 - 繁體
Phenomena are Identical to Blank Essence
"Phenomena are identical to Blank Essence, and Blank Essence is identical to phenomena.
This is a well-known passage from the "Heart Sutra."
At the beginning part of Buddhist Tantric rituals there is always a section of "Visualization on Blank Essence," and it prescribes visualizing all phenomena as merging into boundless sky-blue light as "returning to Blank Essence."
However, according to the teaching of the "Heart Sutra," phenomena are identical to Blank Essence, and feeling, conceptualization, motivation and consciousness are also so indeed, then why need to visualize the contents of all our experiences as merging into light, for these to be considered as "returning to Blank Essence"?
Stipulations in rituals are skillful means to counteract our habitual tendencies. We are used to taking the contents of our experiences as having solid and independent existence as an individual entity, therefore in Dharma practices we use merging into light to gradually eliminate our grasping to a sense of reality.
Since phenomena are identical to Blank Essence, it should be possible to realize their Blank Essence without going through the visualization of merging into light. To us who are accustomed to grasping to a sense of reality and deeply enwrapped in the view of the existence of a reality, how can we directly comprehend that phenomena are identical to Blank Essence?
The key to this comprehension lies in realizing the impermanence and oneness of all our experiences. All distinctions are products of human mind, and they are defined and enhanced by all kinds of concepts. Apart from artificial concepts and distinctions, the contents of all our experiences as a whole are in the oneness of a mixture that cannot be divided, and they are constantly evolving. In other words, the existence of an absolutely independent entity is merely an assumption created through mental associations, and it lacks exact correspondence to the contents of our experiences. As soon as mental conceptualization ceased, all phenomena have no independent existence, but appear as a totality. This is what is meant by "non-self" and "originally of Blank Essence."
Based on what is stated above we know that, if one can cease conceptual activities in mind, then it will be easy to comprehend at once that phenomena are identical to Blank Essence. Therefore, through Dharma practices one should first attain the state of being "naturally free from thoughts," and then one may become able to comprehend Blank Essence directly.
Written in Chinese on August 19, 2013