Hsin Shin Ming: “27. If you are to know the essence of these seeming two facets, see them as one Emptiness.”
‘These seeming two facets’ means forms or things. ‘See them as one Emptiness’ means to realise that everything is empty. When everything is empty, all things are one as Emptiness. That is why the scripture has ‘one’ before Emptiness. Actually, ‘one Emptiness’ means just Emptiness, and from time to time Emptiness is referred to as Oneness or non-Duality. In other words, to see things as empty is to know the essence of all things since the essence of forms is emptiness as the Heart Sutra says, “Forms are Emptiness and Emptiness is forms”
Then, why do these seem to be two facets? The reason why these seeming two facets appear to be dual is not that they are separate but that you have divided one Emptiness into many by putting imaginary lines, labels on it. For example, when you put the label ‘cup’ on a thing, you divide one Emptiness into two; a cup and what is not a cup. In this way you divide one Emptiness into too many forms by drawing countless imaginary lines.
How can we see two facets as one Emptiness? Seeing all things without any imaginary lines is seeing things as one Emptiness. If you can see a cup before you without any imaginary lines attached to it such as ‘cup’, ‘white’, ‘round’, ‘hard’, ‘small’, and so on, that is to see it as one Emptiness.
Student: “Is this cup a form or emptiness?”
Master: “It is a form as long as you call it a cup.”
Student: “What is it like when it is Emptiness?”
Master: “When you see this cup as Emptiness, you can’t see me, not to mention asking me this question, because not only this cup but all the universe including you and me also becomes one as Emptiness.”
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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