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Buddhadharma : Summer 2019
54 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY We shine light on the way things are by looking deeply at imper manence, nonself, and interbeing. The Sutra on the Dharma Seal teaches that when we are able to touch the impermanent and the nonself nature of phenomena, we can touch nirvana. Another way of understanding or describing nirvana is the nature of interbe ing of all things, or interdependent coarising. Impermanence and nonself belong to the phenomenal world; nirvana belongs to the noumenal world. The three dharma seals of impermanence, nonself, and nirvana are the keys to understanding the ManifestationOnly teachings. The first key is impermanence, and it is used to open the door of reality concerning time. Nonself, the second key, is used to open the door of reality concerning space. They are spoken of as different but in truth they are one, because time and space are one. One cannot exist without the other. The third key, nirvana, is the fulfilled nature, the reality of nobirth, nodeath; no coming, no going; no one, no many; no existing, no notexisting. This is the world of interdepen dent coarising, where nothing exists as a separate, permanent entity. Impermanence and nonself go together with the nature of interbeing. To touch nirvana, to see the interdependent coarising nature of real ity, we have to touch impermanence and nonself. The nature of imaginary construction goes together with our deluded beliefs in permanence and a separately existing self. We see the world around us as permanent and consisting of separate self existing entities. That is why when we begin the practice we need to use the two keys of impermanence and nonself to shine light on the interdependent coarising basis of all things. The way to practice is to light the lamp of mindfulness and live every moment in its light. Whatever we see, hear, or have contact with, we practice mindful ness and see the nature of interbeing in the object of our perception. Looking at a flower in the light of mindfulness, we can easily see that it arises in dependence with sunlight, rain, soil, and so on. We can do the same with human beings—looking at our parents or our friends, we also see their interdependently coarisen natures. We need to have the understanding of interdependent coarising when