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Great Wisdom - Hui-neng

28 Jan 2016   Shanti Gowans
All people in the world 
originally have the knowledge 
of Bodhi (truth) and Prajna (wisdom) 
within them, 
but they cannot realise it 
because of the wanderings of their conditioned mind. 
This is why they need a teacher 
to point it out to them 
and to guide them to perception of essential nature.
The original essential nature is the Buddha. 
There is no Buddha apart from essential nature.
Maha Prajna are Sanskrit words which mean “great wisdom.”
Maha means great. 
It describes the extent of the mind, 
which is as vast as space, 
and without boundaries. 
This vast mind has 
no squareness, no roundness, 
no largeness or smallness; 
it has no blueness, yellowness, redness or whiteness. 
It has no up or down, long or short, 
no good or bad, no head or tail. 
The true emptiness of our inherent nature is also like this.
The emptiness of physical space 
contains the colours and forms of myriad things, 
the sun, the moon and the stars, 
the mountains, rivers and land, 
the springs and valley streams, 
the grasses, trees and forests, 
bad people and good people, 
bad things and good things, 
heaven and hell, 
the oceans and the mountains
 – all are within space. 
The emptiness of the essential nature of people in the world is all this.
Our inherent nature contains all things
this is greatness.
If you see everyone’s bad and good 
but do not grasp or reject any of it, 
and do not become affected by it, 
your mind is like space…
this is called greatness 
and hence Maha.
The extent of the mind is so vast
it pervades the cosmos.
When it is used so that it functions adaptively 
with comprehensive clarity, 
it knows everything. 
Everything is one, one is everything. 
Going and coming freely
 the substance of the mind, without blockage
is wisdom or prajna.
We can talk of emptiness all day 
without cultivating its application!
Acting insightfully and wisely 
moment to moment, 
wherever you may be, at any time, 
is the application of wisdom.
Practicing wisdom in every moment of thought
is called True nature. 
To realise True nature is the reality of wisdom. 
To cultivate realising True nature in each moment 
is the practice of wisdom.  
If you do not cultivate it, 
you are ordinary mortals; 
the moment you put it into practice, 
you yourself are equal to the Buddhas.
                   adapted from the teaching of Hui-neng


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Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography

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