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Buddhadharma : Summer 2019
52 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY to reality—but they are not reality itself. That is why they are called “imaginary constructions.” Reality takes on the shape it does because of our lack of understanding. If we are sad, we see the moon as sad. The sad selfnature of the moon is a construction of our own mind. We are imprisoned by the world of ignorance, birth, and death because we take this imaginary, constructed world created by our mind as reality. The opposite of the world of imaginary construction is the ful filled selfnature, the nature of things as they are. This is not a con struction of our mind, nor is it subject to conceptualization. In the realm of thingsinthemselves, there is no birth, no death, no one, no many, no coming, no going, no existence, no nonexistence. This is the ultimate dimension, the realm of suchness, nirvana. How do we leave the world of imaginary construction and enter nirvana? The way is through meditating on the nature of interdependence, the practice of paratantra. Paratantra is the process of learning and training ourselves to look deeply into the nature of interdependence. When we see the interdependent selfnature of things, we are no longer caught in notions of duality. We see that samsara and suchness are one, not two. With deluded mind, we only see samsara. But when our mind is purified and becomes true mind, samsara is transformed into such ness, nirvana. Whether the ground beneath our feet is heaven or hell depends entirely on our way of seeing and walking. Samsara and suchness have the same ground—the ground of our consciousness, our mind. If we practice looking deeply into the nature of inter dependence, the nature of interbeing of all things, that is paratan tra. Through this insight we are able to transform delusion into illumination. Interdependence means that a thing can arise only in reliance on other things. A flower arises in dependence on the seed, clouds, rain, soil, and the warmth of the sun. All these things are other than the flower, but the flower depends on them for its existence. This is the interdependent selfnature of a flower. Everything in the universe has this interdependent selfnature. Looking deeply and shining light on the interdependent selfnature of all that we perceive is the way to transform ignorance into awakened understanding. ➤