“I bow to the Dharma”

“Its purity freeing you from attachment,
Its goodness freeing from the wretched states,
Exclusively ultimate, supreme in meaning–
I bow to the Dharma, ever bringing peace!”*

What is this Dharma that ever brings peace?

If we take the word for its surface meaning, dharma refers to the teachings of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni. That level of dharma, though diverse, complete, and profound, is only the surface. Like a frozen alpine lake, the outer layer of dharma will support us, is beautiful, clear, and accessible. We can spend our life getting to know “the dharma,” and defining for ourselves the parts of it that fit our goals in life, love, meaning, and purpose. No one need be a monk or nun to engage the vast and practical teachings of the Buddha. With his awakened understanding of the human condition Shakyamuni Buddha:

  • birthed psychology,
  • offered self-derived philosophy (the love of truth) as the direction for humanity’s natural intellect and invited all people to freely explore inner and outer truth thus freeing truth, humanity, and the mind
  • and Buddha’s dharma codified “a way of peace” that remains unexcelled to this day. So, even if only the surface layers of the dharma are engaged, we would be living its benefits for many lives. But there is more.

“Its purity freeing you from attachment” … The Dharma is the toroidal flow of awareness as it folds in on itself and back out again. The one practicing dharma experiences that it is literally a purity free from attachment. A favorite ice cream, person, way of being, or way that we think another should be all fold into the middle of the nothing that these attachments actually are. Preference and its opposite – aversion – are figments of imagination; they are contractions in our mind.  The purity of the dharma cannot be squeezed or made small. It is correct that human minds create contracted dogmas, rituals, doctrines, and codes from Truth and call them truths. Yet if we meditate or contemplate the dharma of the Buddha and its reverberations through others around the world, we will find that dharma, being pure and always perfect, leads to freedom from attachment because it itself is  free.

“Its goodness freeing from the wretched states” … Wretched states are all variations of pain, sickness, aging, fear, hatred, suffering, death, loss, doubt, anger, and the sense of self. The goodness of the dharma is both what it engenders and its natural state or substance. As water is wet, dharma is substantially good. Dharma is the toroidal flow of awareness, understanding, insight, and goodness. It flows into itself and out again, into itself and out again. All manifest existence is ultimately a closed system, a perfect harmony in every regard. Our planet and its fixed amount of water, air, and deep resources or the majesty and magic of cosmos display this. Dharma is too. Every aspect of dharma (Truth) supports a self-propagating flow of more of the same. In this way dharma creates The Way, which the Sanskrit word dharma also means. The toroidal flow of goodness now self-propels more and more goodness, thus negative karma is reduced, ultimately to be undone. And since all “wretched states” are the balance that is the law of karma, then dharma frees all from the states of suffering that are results of this law. Dharma, then, is supreme, and as we understand more of its law-fullness and it as pristine Law (Skt: dharma=law), then we understand that dharma is the mother Law from which the offspring law karma (cause and result) is born.

“Exclusively ultimate, supreme in meaning” … nothing is more, nothing exceeds Dharma as the Truth, its emanations of Truth, or the fundamental Laws of Existence. Living in dharma (Truth and its goodness), we free ourselves through its simple precision and power and become goodness embodied. We awaken to our Nature: buddhakaya-buddhadharma. We are embodied Buddha Nature: already perfect, already pure, already liberated. And we realize that dharma is the ground – basic understanding, the path – how to apply that understanding, and the fruition – the resulting awake awareness. We realize that we have always been pure Buddha Being and never were not. Illusions thought forever to be reality disappear into the toroidal flow that is the emptiness of Dharma (Skt. understanding), and we empty too of the causes of lower vibration and karma. Emptied and empty we realize that we are buddhadharma which not only “ever brings peace” but is peace. We become the pure goodness that is manifest existence, that is Reality.

*This verse is from Praise to Shakyamuni Buddha from the 2011 Kalachakra booklet of recitations when His Holiness gave the Kalachakra empowerments in Washington, DC.

About Donna Mitchell-Moniak

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