Giving without Grasping

Yutang Lin

Diamond Sutra keeps the Dharma eye clear;
Appearances and grasping are not keepsake.
Without attachment diligently offer service;
Devoted sacrifice would induce awakening.


Last few days I had been reviewing the Diamond Sutra in Chinese and had added punctuation marks to it. I appreciated deeply the thorough transparency that the Sutra is alluding to by teaching us to stay away from all conceptual frameworks and any grasping to any sense of reality. If we could remain so awakened, where could worries turn up? The ability to see through appearances and grasping and not become limited by them needs to be cultivated in daily life. One needs to practice giving and offering of services continuously in order to realize gradually the real awakening. "Without attachment diligently offer service" could be taken as the fundamental teaching of this Sutra on how to practice Dharma in daily life.

The practice of Chod, as taught by the tantric patriarch Machig Labdron, applies the abstract principle of "giving without grasping" directly to our fundamental grasping, the grasping to one's body, and thereupon practices giving of the body in visualization. Furthermore, the Chod practice identifies the body with the whole Dharmadhatu and thereby enables the practitioner to engage in a practice of endless and all-encompassing offering.

Written in Chinese and translated on May 10, 2002
El Cerrito, California

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