Sunday, December 04, 2005

The 3 Foundations of Nibbana

Hui Neng, the 6th Patriach said:

"Having no wrong in the Buddha-nature is true morality,
Having no ignorance in the Buddha-nature is true wisdom,
Having no distraction in the Buddha-nature is true concentration.
Neither increasing nor decreasing makes it adamantine,
Whether coming or going it always remain in Samadhi."

As we know, the 3 foundations of the path to Nibbana is Sila (morality), Samadhi (concentration) & Panna (wisdom). What exactly are they? Most Buddhists believe that following and not breaking the percepts is called Sila, practicing meditation & attaining Jhana is called Samadhi, and developing insight from the basis of Samadhi is called Panna. When Sila, Samadhi & Panna completely overcome the defilements in the mind, one realizes Nibbana. That is a very literal way of understanding the Dhamma, suitable for those who have not transcend duality.

However, when one realizes the non-duality of the absolute truth, one will see that the Buddha-nature is fundamenally pure and cannot be defiled - that is Sila.

Knowing that the true mind is immovable, the passions are stilled and one no longer any positive or negative emotions towards one's sensory experiences - that is Samadhi.

Seeing the purity of the Buddha-nature, yet not clinging to any concept of purity; knowing the immovablity of the true mind, yet not clinging to any concept of immovablity; such that one can perceive & differentiate all phenomena, yet never becoming attached to anything at all - that is Panna.

Understanding that the 3 foundations are fundamentally empty and that there is nothing to cultivate or attain is called the Equal Application of the 3 foundations. If you can practice the Dhamma in this way, then you are no different from the Buddha.

1 comment:

jay said...

"When Sila, Samadhi & Panna completely overcome the defilements in the mind, one realizes Nibbana. That is a very literal way of understanding the Dhamma, suitable for those who has not transcend duality."

Wayne, without practising, how can one transcend duality?

You can only talk about non-duality after you have experienced the true nature of the mind, such a mind has already detached from delusion.

Be careful when talking about such profound dharma, especially when you have not attained such a state yet, when the mind is still making all kinds of discrimination! Simply put it this way " Creating karma".

Huineng can talk about it in whatever manner he sees suitable for the situation inorder to enlighten certain person. In other words, the spoken dharma has to fit the listener's capacity.