It’s been said before by… someone that when you’re studying the Dharma, any book will do.

I once experienced the teachings firsthand while reading the Samdhinirmocana Sutra; attachment’s relationship to dukkha as well.

I was sitting at the kitchen table, studying, and I accidentally spilled a cup of tea on the Sutra. The pages were soaked and the text began to bleed and blur. I was pissed.

Then, it clicked into place and where there was anger, joy and ease rushed into the space.

The Buddhadharma is so incredibly simple: all things are dynamic, impermanent, constantly changing; all things are dependently arisen, they don’t come into existence and sustain themselves on their own but depend on countless other causes and conditions.

Taken together, this is the Dharma-nature of the cosmos. This is emptiness. Forgetting or ignoring these facts causes suffering because I’m then lured into clinging and craving things.

When that cup of tea saturated that Sutra, I was witnessing emptiness in action. When I got pissed off, I was witnessing clinging and dukkha (suffering) in action. Then, I remembered the Dharma and the bubble burst.

Each book teaches the Dharma because each book is empty of itself, empty of the stagnancy and isolation that are characteristics of all nouns. The teachings found in Sutras are fingers pointing at the moon, as they say. When that Sutra is destroyed, and the mind is ripe for insight, that’s the moon itself.

The Samdhinirmocana Sutra gave me a direct experience of emptiness and, with that, the open clarity of a moment of Suchness. But this teaching wasn’t in the words, but in how the words faded back into ink.


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