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Buddhadharma : Fall 2014
FALL 2 0 1 4 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 33 comes from nourishing it and being nourished by it. Mystery resonates in their words and actions. They walk the Way; they sleep the Way. A stu- dent comes to hear her teacher teach, but more importantly, to see how he or she loves. Merit upon Merit If horns sprout on your head, that’s unbearable; If you rouse your mind to seek Buddha, that’s shameful. In the vastness of the empty kalpa there is no one who knows— Why go to the South to interview the fifty-three sages? To arrive at the stage of Merit upon Merit is to be enlightened beyond enlightenment. There are no medallions struck to indicate such attain- ment, and hopefully, if we try to apply this per- sonally, it is not us. Whatever Merit upon Merit may be, it includes our delusions about the world and ourselves. Our deepest misunderstanding of the Way—not to mention our faults and our fool- ishness—are lit by the moon. Merit upon Merit, or Enlightenment beyond Enlightenment, as I like to call it, entails that the Way becomes a lived matter and is none other than our unique life in its unfolding. Our expe- rience of emptiness is now so embodied in our ordinary activity that it is forgotten. The stages of our journey—Orientation, Service, Merit (per- sonal awakening), Merit in Common (enlight- enment in common)—are subsumed within the least of our activities. The world and we our- selves have passed into each other, and we live Kawa #1533 ➤ continued page 78