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Buddhadharma : Fall 2006
buddhadharma| 35 |fall 2006 buddha, the potential of us all. Maitreya leads him to his tower and has him enter. As the door shuts firmly behind him, Sudhana surveys the interior: He saw the tower immensely vast and wide, hun- dreds of thousands of leagues wide, as measure- less as the sky, as vast as all of space, adorned with countless attributes; countless canopies, banners, pennants, jewels, garlands of pearls and gems, moons and half moons, multicolored streamers, jewel nets, gold nets, strings of jewels, jewels on golden threads, sweetly ringing bells and nets of chimes, flowers showering, celestial garlands and streamers, censers giving off fra- grant fumes, showers of gold dust, networks of upper chambers, round windows, arches, tur- rets, mirrors, jewel figurines of women, jewel chips, pillars, clouds of precious cloths, jewel trees, jewel railings, jeweled pathways ... Also, inside the great tower he saw hundreds of thou- sands of other towers similarly arrayed; he saw those towers as infinitely vast as space, evenly arrayed in all directions, yet those towers were not mixed up with one another, being each mutually distinct, while appearing reflected in each and every object of all the other towers.3 For all this marvelous attainment, there is still another step to go. Sudhana goes on to his final teacher, Samantabhadra, the incarnation of univer- sal good. This is the bodhisattva of great action, saving the many beings as final fulfillment of our first vow. With all the complex wealth of the tower of Maitreya, Sudahna is prompted to full and com- plete enlightenment. Great! Wonderful! However, the old masters bought Sudhana down to Earth and the mud of the farm. Here is Sudhana’s transformation and expansion in the tower, and here is his utterly profound realization with Samantabhadra: Xuefeng asked a monk, “How old is this water buffalo?” The monk did not respond. He answered himself, “Seventy-seven.” The monk asked, “Why should you, Master, become a water buffalo?” Xuefeng said, “What’s wrong with that?”4 Indeed. Another example of Huayan wisdom that is then applied in Zen would begin with Fazang’s demonstration of the Hall of Mirrors arranged for the Empress Wu Zetian: Your Majesty, this is a demonstration of total- ity in the dharmadhatu. In each and every mirror within this room you will find the reflections of all the other mirrors with the Buddha’s image in them. And in each and every reflection of any mirror you will find all the reflections of all the other mirrors, together with the specific Buddha image in each, without omission or misplacement. The principle of interpenetration and contain- ment is clearly shown by this demonstration.5 Right here we see an example of one in all and all in one – the mystery of realm embracing realm ad infinitum is thus revealed. The principle of the simultaneous arising of different realms is so obvi- ous here that no explanation is necessary. These infinite reflections of different realms now simulta- neously arise without the slightest effort; they just naturally do so in a perfectly harmonious way. The early master Changsha absorbed the Hall of Mirrors in the most intimate and personal manner. Fazang and his elaborate visual aid disappear: The entire universe is in your eye; the entire uni- verse is your complete body; the entire universe is your own luminance; the entire universe is within your own luminance. In the entire uni- verse there is no one who is not your own self.6 For the mature Zen student, this hits the nail on the head. Whammo! The abrupt rise of realization from one’s innards is the understanding at last of Walt Whitman’s cry, “I am large; I contain mul- titudes!” My eye contains multitudes. But what unmerciful fun the old boys would have made of Whitman! Xuesha said, “I hear that Changsha said, ‘The whole universe is in your eye.’ Well, if that’s so, where will you fellows go to defecate?”7 Indeed. What do you say, old Changsha? He didn’t have to say anything. Zhaozhou put it all in perspective: “Where will we go? Well, if you are on your way to see Xuefeng, take along this mattock.” 8 Zhaozhou and Xuefeng knew very well what Changsha was talking about, and were simply offering tests to their students in his spirit. Well done! What do you say? 3 Thomas Cleary, The Flower Ornament Scripture, Vol. 3 (Shambhala Publications, 1987), pp.365 − 366. 4 Nelson Foster and Jack Shoemaker, The Roaring Stream: A New Zen Reader (Ecco Press, 1976), p. 129. 5 Garma C. C. Chang, The Buddhist Teaching of Totality (Pennsylvania State University Press), p. 24 . 6 Isshu Miura and Ruth Fuller Sasaki, Zen Dust: The History of the Koan and Koan Study in Rinzai (Lin-chi) Zen (Harcourt Brace & World, 1966), p. 275. 7 Thomas Cleary and J.C. Cleary, The Blue Cliff Record (Shambhala Publications, 1977), p. 31. 8 Mattock, an earth-turning tool used by early farmers, East and West. Not a trowel or a hoe, as some translators would have it. Cf. James Green, The Recorded Sayings of Zen Master Joshu (Shambhala Publications, 1998), p. 141. CourtesyoftheartistandaCeGallery,losanGeles