Heart Sutra a deeper look (Part 8)
First of all my apology about the delay in getting this posted. Trying to clearly define some of these concepts deserves years of study, and I have a deeper appreciation of the meditation monks and nuns practice on a daily basis. Once again please use this as an entry sign to the path, there are more experienced guides, such as those found at a local Temple or Wat.
“Because nothing is attained, the Bodhisattva, through reliance on prajna paramita, is unimpeded in his mind. Because there is no impediment, he is not afraid, and he leaves distorted dream-thinking far behind. Ultimately Nirvana!”
This is a restatement of what was covered in part 7, except from the starting point of the journey. In away I am going to have to borrow from the realm of science fiction, and temporal travel to help explain this.
We are being told that we should make the journey that will lead to Nirvana, but in essence we have already arrived. Because we have Nirvana within us, as part of our true nature. Think of enlightenment as a cup of coffee, that you have already drank. Now you need to find away to achieve that point of having just drank the coffee. What do you need to be able to drink the coffee. First of all you need the coffee, that you will consume, consider this the true knowledge you are seeking. Next you need a cup or mug to hold that coffee, as it makes it a lot easier to drink from a container, than trying to absorb it through osmosis, or holding your head under the coffee maker. The fact that we all take a slightly different path to obtain this coffee, is the same as some might prefer it black, others just sugar, some might like cream and sugar, or any of thousands of other ways. But just like the cup or mug makes it easier to ingest the coffee, and the flavors or additions make it easier to swallow, the coffee ends up inside of us. All the flavors are gone, and the vessel left behind.
So using the coffee analogy, in essence the Bodhisattva having already consumed the coffee has the knowledge to overcome the obstacles that their senses are producing. They have no other external source to go for help. They already have the knowledge inside, and have the prajna paramita or perfect wisdom inside. Having this knowledge inside the Bodhisattva does not worry about anything that may happen, and is not afraid of what has happened in the past. With the past and future not worried about, it leaves only the present, which will not remain constant. So in this manner they accept impermanence and use it, to overcome obstacles that you or I would get caught up on. With their thoughts always in the moment, they don’t waste thoughts on what should not be worried about. How many times have you thought of all sorts of possible outcomes, only to find out these were ultimately found to be baseless distractions. Most of the fears we put in front of ourselves, never occur. If something does happen, accepting it and moving forward is the way the Bodhisattva handles these problems, they deal in what is, not what ifs. If we can reach this state of mind and keep it, we have achieved Nirvana, or the freedom from suffering.