Followers of the Way, the one who at this moment stands alone, clearly and lively right before the eyes and is listening, this one is nowhere obstructed; unhindered he penetrates everywhere and moves freely in the Three Worlds. Entering all kinds of situations, he is never affected by them. In the fraction of a moment he goes to the bottom of the scheme of things. Meeting Buddha, he talks to Buddha; meeting patriarchs, he talks to patriarchs; meeting Arhats, he talks to Arhats; meeting hungry ghosts, he talks to hungry ghosts.
‘The one who at this moment stands alone, clearly and lively right before the eyes and is listening’ implies the true-Self. ‘This one is nowhere obstructed; unhindered he penetrates everywhere and moves freely in the Three Worlds’ doesn’t mean that the true-Self moves here and there freely but means that everything, including the Three Worlds, is just the function of the true-Self without exception.
In ‘entering all kinds of situation, he is never affected by them’ ‘he’ is an enlightened person who has realised that he is one with the true-Self and that all kinds of situations are just the function of the true-Self. That’s why he is never affected by the situations he enters. Then, it is very clear to him that Buddha, patriarchs, Arhats (figures who have attained genuine insight in Southern Buddhism) and hungry ghosts are all, in essence, just the same since they are no more than the functions of the true-Self. So, he can handle them freely. Thinking of them as different from one another, according to their names and forms, is being deluded by their illusions.
Student: “How should we meet and talk to Buddha and the patriarchs and handle hungry ghosts?”
Master: “When you meet Buddha and the patriarchs, they turn into Maras if you are attracted by and follow them. When you meet Maras, they turn into Buddha if you are indifferent to them and don’t run away.”
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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