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Buddhadharma : Summer 2006
summer 2006| 42 |buddhadharma emptiness without using a method? Yes, but they are extremely rare. What Good Is Enlightenment? Are you engaged in spiritual practice for yourself or for the sake of others? The idea of practicing for other people might sound very strange. Yet, because we are practicing how to contemplate emptiness, which implies no-self, it would also be strange to be practicing for ourselves. So, are we just wasting time here? Actually practice is not for the sake of anything. You practice just to practice. These past two days, I have talked a lot about emptiness, about enlightenment, seeing the nature, and such things. I have said that after enlightenment, one realizes no-mind, no-self, and no-form. With all these negations, what can we say is the good of enlightenment? To answer this, we should remember the line from the Diamond Sutra, “Abid- ing nowhere, give rise to mind.” Abiding nowhere means seeing one’s self-nature. just the right way for each individual. I want to give you a kind of formula that describes wisdom and compassion. I will give you the basic structure of this formula, but you must fill in the blanks yourself. It goes like this: Wisdom is not (blank), not (blank), and not (blank). Compassion is not (blank), not (blank), and not (blank). Can you fill in the blanks? This is very important, for if you’ve seen the nature, the three nots of wisdom and the three nots of compassion should arise in your experience of enlightenment. If your experience after seeing the nature is not in accordance with these definitions, your experience has some problems. Please recite: “Wisdom is not knowl- edge, wisdom is not experience, and wis- dom is not thinking.” [Participants recite.] Wisdom is the attitude of no-self. And now for compassion. Please recite: “Compassion is not sympathy, compassion has no fixed recipients, and compassion is without a goal.” [Participants recite.] Compassion is impartially benefiting all sentient beings in just the right way. It means not clinging to form, allow- ing the wisdom of no-self to arise. As this wisdom appears, compassion will also appear along with it. This union of wisdom and compassion is called bodhi mind, or bodhicitta – the wisdom of no- self together with nondiscriminating com- passion. So bodhi mind is not just limited to wisdom, as some people may think. We can say that wisdom, or prajna, is not three things: it is not experience, it is not knowledge, and it is not thinking. Rather, wisdom is the attitude of no-self. We can also speak of three things that compassion is not: it is not ordinary sym- pathy, it is not fixed on any object, and it does not seek goals. Compassion is not the same as love. Through compassion, one helps all sentient beings without dis- criminating between one and the other, and one impartially gives benefit to all sentient beings. Again, compassion has no fixed recipient, and because it is form- less, it has no goal in mind – one is not compassionate in order to get something. Compassion is helping sentient beings in Seattle, Madison Park, 2005