08 Aug Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 48
[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on the Prajna Paramita (Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom) Heart Sutra]
(Last week we ended with, “Until approaching your death and then you become reluctant to part from it all. This kind of situation happens to us almost every day.”)
[Sutra] Hence, within no phenomenon as the impermanent existence nature there is no materialistic phenomena; no feelings, thinking, mental formations, and consciousness. No eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind; no sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touch, and all illusory phenomena.
We have already explained all materialistic phenomena, feelings, thinking, mental formations, and consciousness, then why does he say: within no phenomenon as the impermanent existence nature there is no[…]?
He means to tell you that even no phenomenon as the impermanent existence nature and the mode of existing, entirely none exist; it progresses one step further. Everyone needs to experience this on one’s own gradually. I will give an example: This water, if we take a tree branch to draw on the water, it will create a ripple when we draw on it. But the ripple also disappears any time when you draw.
In the moment of drawing, what thing has faded away? It is no phenomena as the impermanent existence nature.
To speak about the no phenomena as the impermanent existence nature is very intriguing. He says: Hence, within no phenomena as the impermanent existence nature there is no materialistic phenomena, no feelings, thinking, mental formations, and consciousness.
So, all materialistic phenomena, feelings, thinking, mental formations, and consciousness also does not exist; water also does not exist.
You say the phenomena of relative opposites do not exist, the non-relative opposites do not exist as well, it is also an unreal phenomenon. Water becomes steam when met with heat, and steam rises to meet cold air to become rainfall. Despite the difference in phenomena, water still exists. But here he is telling you that even water also does not exist. Therefore, other people say that relative opposites do not exist, and non-relative opposites also do not exist. All Buddha Bodhisattva practice the Middle Way, where they do not attach to either side (non-existent or existent), and they even have no attachment to the Middle. When we listen to it, seems it is very difficult and very mysterious. I am telling all of you, it is not like that at all.
Then you ask, how to do it in your life? It is very simple. If you are hungry, you eat. When eating, do not nitpick. If you need to sleep, go to sleep, and do not do so for the sake of your face.
However, when wisdom starts to function, the one becomes outstanding, one handles all perfectly in front of the masses. When one is alone with oneself, one will find amusement in one’s own way. If you do not have mind thought, you will not be restricted by the space. When you are not restricted by time and space, that is the state of hence, within no phenomena as the impermanent existence nature there is no materialistic phenomena, no feelings, thinking, mental formations, and consciousness; no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind; no sights, sounds, scent-smells, tastes, touch, and all illusory phenomena. One must not think that this sphere is unattainable, there is no need to be envious. Your daily life is exactly this way, honestly speaking, you live within this.
Eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind; which are the organs of sense. Mind is mind thought. Sights, sounds, scent-smells, tastes, touch and all illusory phenomena; refer to the Eyes that sees Sights, the ears hear sounds, the nose smells scents, the tongue tastes flavors, the mind corresponds with all illusory phenomena, and the body feels touch.
Every day, from morning to night, the six senses of organ produce the six impurities. “Impurities” talk about phenomena.
When the six senses of organ produce six impurities, what condition is it? If your mind has been activated with arising thought, to have discrimination and attachment; you use the mind and consciousness, then it becomes very troublesome.
We often talked about the “three minds and two consciousness”. It is very difficult for us to be single-minded. Buddha Bodhisattva living is called single-minded, meaning there is no defilement. Our living way is “three minded and two consciousness”, having one moment in the past, one moment in the present, one moment in the future. Therefore, this life goes wrong due to the three “minds” of past, present, future and two “consciousness”: the 6th consciousness of discrimination and the 7th (Manas) consciousness of attachment.
Why “three minds and two consciousness”? Because one wants to discriminate; one wants to have attachment.