Students ceaselessly take hold of names and phrases, and get obstructed by words like ‘worldly’ and ‘sacred’ which obscure the eye, and so they cannot see clearly. The Twelve Divisions of the Teachings are only surface explanations. But students, not realising this, take to these surface explanations of words and letters and deliver interpretations of them. All this is only supporting their dependence and, accordingly, they fall into cause and effect and so do not escape birth and death in the Three Worlds.
‘Take hold of names and phrases, and get obstructed by words like worldly and sacred’ means that we are deluded by words such as ‘worldly’ and ‘sacred’. ‘They cannot see clearly’ implies that we cannot see things as they are, or as empty. ‘The Twelve Divisions of the Teachings are only surface explanations’ represents that all doctrinal teachings are just words that explain the true-Self, not the true-Self itself. Being lost in the words themselves while losing sight of the true-Self is looking at the finger pointing to the moon instead of looking at the moon itself. This is like thinking of the boundary line of one’s land, which merely indicates the extent of the land, as being one’s land itself, whilst being ignorant of the fact that in reality it is the land inside the boundary that is one’s own. ‘All this is only supporting their dependence’ means that being deluded by words induces people to cling to and depend on the illusion of Buddha, or God.
Student: “How should we accept ‘The Twelve Divisions of the Teachings’?”
Master: “Don’t be deluded by the words of them.”
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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