“All of us have the Buddha nature, or divine spark, in us. We do not have to search for Buddhahood outside because we are all originally Buddhas. In Christian terms, we do not have to search for God’s kingdom outside because the kingdom of God is within us. Similarly, in Islam the essence of human life is roh, which is the spirit of God; and in Hinduism the atman inside is an expression of Brahman, the Universal Spirit. In Zen, when a person realizes this cosmic truth, when he realizes that the transcendental reality of which he is an integral part is undifferentiated, he attains awakening.”
~ Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
The Complete Book of Zen
Here, Wong Kiew Kit tactfully connects the cosmic truths inherent in all of the world’s great religions and philosophies; and though the personal perception of these truths varies considerably from person to person – expressed both positively and negatively – the base truths remain the same.
Something I enjoyed learning whilst studying yoga philosophy was the Hindu concept of ‘atman’ or ‘spirit’ – the word ‘atman’ referring to individual souls/spirits in sentient beings throughout the universe, and the words ‘Param atman’ [‘param’ meaning ‘great’] referring to the ‘Great Spirit’, the universal essence of life and consciousness. The same word is used to describe both; to me this beautifully illustrates the interconnectedness and sameness of us all.
I’d also like to draw attention to Wong Kiew Kit’s use of the word ‘awakening’ to describe the event of realizing cosmic truth – this ‘awakening’ is different from ‘enlightenment’, which can be experienced only after much cultivation once one has experienced awakening in the first place. Personally I have found that there are many stages of awakening, each deepening your understanding and detachment from duality, and each leading you closer to enlightenment. I have also found that as your awakening deepens, so too does your ability to meditate on the void.
For those of you who got to experience yesterday’s crazy dumping of snow, I hope you all stayed safe and warm (and inside, for the most part)!
Have a lovely Tuesday, xo