There is really no Dharma to teach, said the Buddha. Does it sound familiar to Chapter 1 of Laozi’s Daodejing (whatever spoken is not the real and everlasting Dao)? If the two masters met, i imagine there will be a smile of mutual recognition!
But the Buddha put it out more seriously in this chapter, saying whoever said the Buddha has expounded on Dharma is slandering him! Why? For the real Dharma is beyond words and no word, and the real Buddha beyond form and no-form. So, can truth be spoken? Can the Buddha be seen? Can charity work be done? Can a human life be lived? If we can ponder on these questions carefully… maybe one day we will get a smile with the Buddha and Laozi!
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WHAT IS SPOKEN IS NOT SPOKEN, TWENTY-ONE
“’Subhuti, do not say that the Tathagata thinks:
“‘I must expound the Dharma.’
“Do not have such a thought. Why?
“Because if someone says so, he will really slander the Buddha and be unable to understand my teaching.
“Subhuti, when (the Tathagata) expounds the Dharma, there is really no Dharma to teach: but this is (expediently) called teaching the Dharma.”