Many roads lead to
the Path, but
basically there are only two: reason and practice. To enter by
reason means to realize the essence through instruction and to
believe that all living things share the same true nature, which
isnít apparent because itís shrouded by sensation and delusion.
Those who turn from delusion back to reality, who
walls,í the absence of self and other, the oneness of mortal and
sage, and who remain unmoved even by scriptures are in complete and
unspoken agreement with reason. Without moving, without effort, they
enter, we say, by reason.
To enter by practice refers to
adapting to conditions
First, suffering injustice. When those
who search for the Path encounter adversity, they should think to
themselves, "In Countless ages gone by, Iíve turned from the
essential to the trivial and wandered through all manner of
existence, often angry without cause and guilty of numberless
transgressions. Now, though I do no wrong, Iím punished by my past.
Neither gods nor men can foresee when an evil deed will bear its
fruit. I accept it with an open heart and without complaint of
injustice. The sutras say " when you meet with adversity donít be
upset because it makes sense." With such understanding youíre in
harmony with reason. And by suffering injustice you enter the Path.
Second, adapting to conditions. As
mortals, weíre ruled by conditions, not by ourselves. All the
suffering and joy we experience depend on conditions. If we should
be blessed by some great reward, such as fame or fortune, itís the
fruit of a seed planted by us in the past. When conditions change,
it ends. Why delight In Its existence? But while success and failure
depend on conditions, the mind neither waxes nor wanes. Those who
remain unmoved by the wind of joy silently follow the Path.
Third, seeking nothing. People of this
world are deluded. Theyíre always longing for something-always, in a
word, seeking. But the wise wake up. They choose reason over custom.
They fix their minds on the sublime and let their bodies change with
the seasons. All phenomena are empty. They contain nothing worth
desiring. Calamity forever alternates with Prosperity! To dwell in
the three realms is to dwell in a burning house. To have a body is
to suffer. Does anyone with a body know peace? Those who understand
this detach themselves from all that exists and stop Imagining or
seeking anything. The sutras say, "To seek is to suffer. To seek
nothing is bliss." When you seek nothing, youíre on the Path.
Fourth, practicing the Dharma. The
Dharma is the truth that all natures are pure. By this truth, all
appearances are empty. Defilement and attachment, subject and object
donít exist. The sutras say, "The Dharma includes no being because
itís free from the impurity of being, and the Dharma includes no
self because itís free from the impurity of self." Those wise enough
to believe and understand these truths are bound to practice
according to the Dharma. And since that which is real includes
nothing worth begrudging, they give their body, life, and property
in charity, without regret, without the vanity of giver, gift, or
recipient, and without bias or attachment. And to eliminate impurity
they teach others, but without becoming attached to form. Thus,
through their own practice theyíre able to help others and glorify
the Way of Enlightenment.
And as with charity, they also practice
the other virtues. But while practicing the six virtues to eliminate
delusion, they practice nothing at all. This is whatís meant by
practicing the Dharma.