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文‧果安 by Gwo Aun






The exact opposite of stupidity is wisdom and to attain the state of wisdom is to use the mind to act in reverse of stupidity. Because we have, since beginningless time, accumulated the habit of behaving stupidly as opposed to wisely, the root of our in born stupid habits has to be reversed. This starts only if we make up our mind to walk the path to reverse this process by seeking our original self-nature, which at the start of this beginningless time was pure and not tainted. Our not knowing of this inverse correlation between wisdom and stupidity is our ignorance. Because of this ignorance, we have enjoyed our blessings and endured our sufferings without any clue as to how to end the transitory fluxuation of happiness and sorrow. When we are happy, we want to cling to this state for as long as we can and when we are sad, we want to abandon this state immediately. How then do we overcome these fluxuating emotional states? As humans, we usually act 50% out of reason and 50% out of emotion.

During every evening recitation,we recite a passage that says if we want to understand the nature of the Dharma Realm, then we must realize that everything is made from the MIND alone‘ This verse is found in the Avatamsaka Sutra, the king of the King of Sutras. In order to answer the question regarding the nature of the various states of existence, we need to unlock this Original mind inherent in us.

Extreme happiness and extreme sadness are temporary in nature, most of us would agree. Where then does the ultimate state lie? Surely it is somewhere in between because we know, although we do not want to admit it, that all happy or sad events will come to an end with time‘. When prince Siddharta was investigating the nature of the Dharma Realm, he heard a music teacher tell his student that if you tighten the strings of the lute too much, the strings will break and if you allow the strings to be too slack, then no musical note can be strummed. Immediately, Prince Siddharta realized that the nature of the Dharma Realm lies in the middle. The enlightened prince, Shakyamuni Buddha, has shown us that the answer to our emotional states lies in the middle, in moderation.

What then is the state which is indifferent to happiness and sadness? We have to investigate the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha to assist us in opening our wisdom. All sayings of the Buddha open our wisdom and the Shurangama Sutra, the Heart of Prajna-Paramita Sutra and the Vajra Prajna-Paramita Sutra are especially important in assisting us to attain the wisdom of the Buddhas. On initial investigation, being indifferent to happiness and sadness appears to tally with the state of emptiness. However, Shakyamuni Buddha goes on to say that “form does not differ from emptiness, and emptiness does not differ from form” The analogy is that when you remove a mountain, there is vacuum or emptiness and originally before the mountain exists there lies a vacuum or emptiness, which was there even while the mountain existed. Form is analogous to the states of happiness and sadness and our indifference to both these states is the equivalent of mundane emptiness. Therefore, to tally with the teachings of the Buddha, being indifferent to emotional states is not enough, for you will  still remain attached to the planes of existence, since form and emptiness is one and the same. We have to be not attached to the states of happiness, sadness, and indifference to reach the state of truly being empty and thereby truly practicing THE MIDDLE WAY. There is no trace of happiness sadness or indifference upon reaching the state of “true emptiness” which is also referred to as “wonderful existence”.

“All with marks is false and empty. If you see all marks as no marks, then only will you reach enlightenment” and “all conditioned dharmas are like dreams, illusions, bubbles, shadows, dew drops and lightning flash, contemplate them thus.” Everything is impermanent except for the attainment of Anuttarasamyaksambodhi—the supreme enlightenment,ie. Buddhahood. Now that we are beginning to investigate wisdom, we still have a lot more to investigate as we walk the Buddha Path! Just remember that although the Buddha-nature is inherent in everyone of us, “Thinking of food will not make one full ”and“ a thousand mile journey begins with the first step.”Amitabha!


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