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Buddhadharma : Summer 2019
66 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY If we are skillful, we can touch nirvana with our insight into interdependent coarising, impermanence, and nonself. We see that nirvana lies right here in the present moment—in the table, the chair, the house, the mountain, the cloud, and each cell of our body. Some Christian theologians say that the Kingdom of God lies right in our hearts, that we can touch it at any time. Nirvana is the same. When we are caught in ideas like permanence and self, we cannot touch nirvana. The moment we touch nirvana, we are free from birth and death. The Buddha taught that there are five powers. First is the power of faith. We need to have faith in the possibility of touching nirvana, of awakening to suchness. This is not blind faith, it is based on our understanding, insight, and experience. Faith leads to energy, the second power. Without faith and confidence, we easily get tired. To have the energy to look deeply into things, we need to have con fidence in our capacity for awakening, and faith in the awakened understanding of the Buddha. We transform our energy into mind fulness, the third power. Where there is mindfulness, there is concen tration, the fourth power. When we live in mindfulness, everything takes place in the con centration of looking deeply. When our concentration is weak, we might be able to see the nature of interdependent coarising for a short time, but we soon fall back into seeing things as permanent and having a separate self. But with strong and steady concentra tion, we can continue to see the nature of interbeing of things within and around us. When our concentration is great, it leads to the fifth power, understanding. With understanding we don’t spend time dreaming of the future or dwelling in the past. We wake up to our true mind. With one mindful step, we enter the Realm of Suchness or the Kingdom of God. Understanding, in turn, strengthens our faith, and in this way the five powers help each other. When we touch the reality of interdependence, we are free from all notions, including notions of coming and going, being and nonbeing, birth and death.