A. According to the Avatamsaka Sutra, all forms, everything is an expedient the Buddha presents sentient beings with. This is why ancient masters would say that we could attain enlightenment if we can simply see or hear only a single thing as it is. In other words, there is no other true-Self than what we see and hear every day.
Everything we see and hear every moment is the form and the sound of the true-Self. It is not because the true-Self hides itself, but because we are deluded by illusions that we don’t recognise it. The best expedient I recommend is to try to see and hear things as they are, that is, to see and hear things without attaching any names to them. If you can see just a single thing as it is, that is the end of your practice.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway