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Buddhadharma : Summer 2018
88 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY knowing what the ultimate source is and how it works, but it is not a matter of philosophical discussion; it is something you experience personally. Mirror wisdom is attained by reaching alayavijnana, the eighth level of human consciousness. When self-centered thoughts cease, you touch what aloneness really is, what selfishness, pain, and sor- row really are, and your experience becomes wisdom, a very deep understanding of the human world. Right in the midst of your life, you are alone, but that aloneness is interconnected, interpenetrated, with all sentient beings. Even though you exist as one human being, your one life contains all beings. This unified life is your true self. Tozan says, “Only if you understand this will you unite with the Tathagata.” The word “this” means your true self. The term Tathagata is a name of Buddha, which comes from two words: tatha and gata. The word tatha rep- resents “going,” and gata represents “coming.” Life is constantly going and coming. Everything is coming and going. This is the truth of impermanence. When you realize the truth of impermanence, you are not carried away by constant change; you are completely without attachment to anything. You just stand alone, calm and unmoved in the vastness of existence. Then, when the one unified life of all beings begins to move toward the human world of separation and discrimination, true self starts to walk, and wherever it goes it meets a reflection of itself. This is Tozan’s proceeding alone. When you proceed like this, this proceeding is called wisdom. It’s very hard to practice this way, but without actual practice, wisdom doesn’t make sense. When wisdom becomes actualized in practice, it is called samadhi—one-pointedness. Samadhi means Whatever you see during zazen, even spiritual ecstasy or enlightenment, it’s just emptiness. But if you say “emptiness,” you have already created a concept.