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What is Dharma? And, Dharma from the Oak Tree

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Author Topic: What is Dharma? And, Dharma from the Oak Tree  (Read 16 times)
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« on: Sep 16, 2020 12:33 am »

from Being Peace, speeches from Tich Nhat Hanh
One day a monk came to Tue Trung, the most illustrious teacher of Buddhism in Vietnam in he 13th century, a time when Buddhism was flourishing in Vietnam. The monk asked him, "What is the pure, immaculate Dharmakaya?" ,and Tue Trung pointed to the excrement of a horse. This was an irreverent approach to Dharmakaya, because people were using the word immaculate, pure, that does not mean it is separate from things that are impure. Reality, ultimate reality, is free from all adjectives, either pure or impure. So his response was to shake up the mind of the monk, for him to cleanse himself of all these adjectives in order to see into the nature of the Dharmakaya.

Dharmakaya is not just expressed in words, in sounds. It can express itself in just being. Sometimes if we don't do anything, we help more than if we do a lot. We call that non-action. It is like the calm person on a small boat in a storm. That person does not have to do  much, just to be himself and the situation can change. That is also an aspect of Dharmakaya: not talking, not teaching, just being.
This is true not only of humans, but other species as well. Look at the trees in our yard. An oak tree is an oak tree. That is all it has to do. If an oak tree is less than an oak tree, then we are all in trouble.
Therefore, the oak tree is preaching Dharma. Without doing anything, not serving in the School of Youth for Social Service, not preaching, not even sitting in meditation, the oak tree is very helpful to all of us just by being there. Every time we look at the oak tree we have confidence. During the summer we sit under it and we feel cool, relaxed. We know that if the oak tree is not there, and all the other trees are not there, we will not have good air to breathe.
We also know that in our former lives we were trees. Maybe we have been an oak tree ourselves. This is not just Buddhist; this is scientific. The human species is a very young species- we appeared on the earth only recently. Before that, we were rock, we were gas, we were minerals, and then we were single-celled beings. We were plants, we were trees, and now we have become humans. We have to recall our past existences. This is not difficult. You just sit down and breathe and look, and you can see your past existences. When we shout at the oak tree, the oak tree is not offended. When we praise the oak tree, it doesn't raise its nose. We can learn the Dharma form the oak tree; therefore, the oak tree is part of our Dharmakaya. We can learn from everything that is around, that is in us. Even if we are not at a meditation center, we can still practice at home, because around us the Dharma is present. Everything is preaching the Dharma. Each pebble, each leaf, each flower is preaching the Saddharma Pundarika Sutra.
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peace ~ <3

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