Constantly Learning from Buddha

Yutang Lin

Sakyamuni, the universally recognized Buddha, had entered Nirvana over thousands of years; how do we constantly learn from Buddha? Dharma consists of guidance based on truths, and truths are the general principles, such as impermanence, no ultimate arbitrator, mutually conditional coexistence and causality, that prevail in the evolution and working of all phenomena. If we could constantly practice in accordance with these principles, then we would be constantly learning from the Dharmakaya of Buddha.

Scriptures of Buddhism and treatises on Dharma are still prevalent, and contain personal examples and verbal teachings of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, so we could still study them and imitate the epitomes through them. But teachings limited by words and expressions, due to the limited nature of languages, are artificially confined. Therefore, researching within Buddhist studies, we should comprehend that the goal is to see the moon through the pointing finger, but not to recognize the finger as the moon. Eventually when merging Dharma teachings into daily life we need to be able to let go of and thereby transcend the limitation of words and expressions. Hence, we need to watch out that, ultimately we should not constantly follow Buddhist studies.

Dharma is guidance for practice. Long-term practitioners through their comprehension and realization could yield inconceivable functions to teach and help sentient beings. One could even recognize practitioners with virtues of attainment as appearance of Buddha's Sambhogakaya or Nirmanakaya in salvation activities. Furthermore, such recognition cannot be forced onto others, but may be learned and comprehended only through inspirational experiences that arose in practitioners' life. If one has had the fortunate opportunities to come across such virtuous ones, then one should revere the Guru as Buddha, and try to learn constantly from Buddha—attending to Guru's daily needs and learn drip by drip from daily activities to absorb blessing and teachings. Practicing through observation and imitation like this would be the easiest and fastest way to grow and mature on the Dharma path. If one delays such approaches to Guru due to worldly considerations, then one had better realize that the evolution of the whole Dharmadhatu does not wait for any sentient being's individual conveniences, and that in the future such opportunities might be lost, and then there is no telling how much longer one will have to wait for such opportunity to turn up again!

The distinction between "Buddha" and "sentient being" was pedagogically contrived for convenience of conversion. If one comprehends that all phenomena were originally pure and that the whole Dharmadhatu is in limitless oneness, then such distinction also exists only in human consciousness but was originally without innate existence. Hence, a practitioner may also regard all sentient beings as Buddhas, and consider only oneself as still confined by grasping to self and hence suffering under the five poisons of greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance and doubts. And then remain respectful to all sentient beings, observe and regard all their actions and inactions as display of skillful means to convert this sentient being who is still suffering under sins. Thus one constantly learns from Buddhas, and respectfully accepts their pedagogical treatments, until grasping to self dissolved and five poisons revealed their original purity and displayed the functions of five wisdoms. Only then could one realize that originally all are in oneness and that originally there were no problems of suffering in life-and-death, and thus become capable of abiding in innate purity to respond to the world.


Written in Chinese and translated on April 18, 2009
El Cerrito, California


-----Original Message-----
From: Yutang Lin
Sent: Sunday, April 19, 2009 6:21 AM
To: Dharma Friends
Subject: Daily Vitamin C 每日的維他命C

"C" for Constantly Learning from Buddha.
C 是常隨佛學的英文開頭字母。

May all beings attain Enlightenment soon!


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