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Buddhadharma : Summer 2019
GEOFFREY SHUGEN ARNOLD 79 simultaneously. To speak of “interdependence” or “mutual depen dence” is just another way of saying “not dependent.” So, when Yangshan says, “There is no absence of enlightenment,” we can see that, at every moment, there is no absence of formlessness, of impermanence, of timelessness. Yangshan then asks, “Why fall into the secondary?” The second ary is the realm of duality, of samsara, of conflict, of two. In each moment, in every breath, in every encounter, in all circumstances, why fall into the secondary? There’s not a single thing that stands alone. Nothing is absent. Nothing is selfexistent. This is why we must find a direct way, beyond all concepts, to realize the unity of the two truths. This is why in zazen we deliberately let go of the secondary—of the thinking mind that creates and constructs—and cultivate a deep faith in another realm of knowing, another kind of understanding. We turn toward the fundamental. “Why fall into the secondary?” means “Why seek peace and comfort in false illu sions?” In false illusions there is no absence of enlightenment—there is just our inability to see, and that’s one of the most critical aspects of practice. The image often used is of a magician, skillful at turn ing our attention to what they want us to see. Delusion is a kind of “slightofmind,” a trickery that happens when we impute meaning. Thus, once one thought is enlightened, all thoughts are enlightened. We see that thoughts themselves do not obstruct. Within this realm of ordinary delusion, everything is there. Noth ing is ever hidden. Because of how our mind, our senses, and con sciousness are, we see only certain aspects of things. That’s what we call delusion, which is just the sense of self in each moment, in every experience, in things that appear before us and things that happen within us. The sense of an autonomous self is the sense that some thing is happening to us and that, in each moment, there is someone