After learning how to set spiritual intention (beyond form) and how to pray (quieting our self), the Buddha reminded us through his own example that enlightenment could not be obtained (as it is beyond the dualistic paradigm of a separate someone who obtain a separate something), there is no teaching which leads one to enlightenment (the second level of surrender, see former post – the 2 stages of surrender), and enlightenment could neither be categorized by real or not real (it is beyond, yet inclusive of human language and description).
Then, the Buddha expound that as we surrender our self and orientate our life towards spiritual studies and devotion, everything becomes teaching to enlightenment (是故如来说：一切法皆是佛法。). Does it sound familiar with what Confucius said in our earlier blog (Confuscius Analects – there are teachers everywhere) ?
And of course, to prevent our mind from quickly attaching itself to this new notion of “everything is teaching to enlightenment”, the Buddha immediately reminded us that this conclusion too is transitory and needs to be surrendered.
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“Subhuti, what do you think? When the Tathagata was with Dipamkara Buddha, did He have any Dharma by means of which He attained Supreme Enlightenment (Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi)?”
“No, World Honoured One.
“As I understand the meaning of the Buddha’s teaching, when He was with Dipamkara Buddha, He had no Dharma by means of which He attained ‘Supreme Enlightenment’”.
The Buddha said: “Just so! Subhuti, just so!
“There was really no Dharma by means of which the Tathagata attained Supreme Enlightenment.
“Subhuti, if there had been, Dipamkara Buddha would not have predicted: In your next life, you will be a Buddha named Sakyamuni”.
“Why is it? Because ‘Tathagata’ means the suchness of all Dharmas.
“If someone still says: ‘The Tathagata obtained Supreme Enlightenment,’
“(I tell you,) Subhuti, there is no Dharma by means of which the Buddha did so,
“(because), Subhuti, that Enlightenment was by itself neither real nor unreal.
“This is why the Tathagata says that all Dharmas are Buddha’s Dharmas.
“Subhuti, these so-called Dharmas are not, but are (expediently), called all Dharmas.
“Subhuti, supposing there is a man whose body is great.
”Subhuti said: “World Honoured One, the great body of which the Tathagata speaks is not great, but is (expediently) called a great body.”