The National Teacher’s Dharma Realms
The National Teacher Yanguan asked a lecturer, “What kind of sutras and commentaries do you read?”
The lecturer replied, “The Flower Garland Sutra.”
The National Teacher then asked, “How many kinds of dharma realms are there in the sutra?”
The lecturer said, “Briefly, there are four kinds, but from a wider perspective, they’re really overlapping and infinite.”
The master straightened his fly whisk and asked, “In which dharma realm is this contained?”
The lecturer faltered and remained silent for a long time.
The master said, “Thinking about it, you’ll know it. Contemplating it, you’ll understand it. All of that, however, is just making a living in a ghost cave. In broad daylight the lamp has certainly lost its brightness. Get out of here.”
Student: “In which dharma realm is the master’s fly whisk contained?”
Master: “Where are the multiple realms from?”
Student: “What did the master mean by ‘In broad daylight the lamp has certainly lost its brightness’?”
Master: “Why do you pay attention to a lamp in broad daylight.”
Reading a map of London is no more residing in London than reading the Flower Garland Sutra is realising the true-Self.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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