Spectrum of Transformation to Buddhahood
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Realisation: The Spectrum of Transformation to Buddhahood
He who sees the Dharma (Truth) sees the Buddha; he who sees the Buddha sees the Dharma. - The Buddha
There are three aspects to every Buddha's existence (Trikaya). Firstly, a Buddha has an unimaginably colossal yet magnificent form (Sambhogakaya: reward body) - as a perfect karmic reward of the immeasurable merits garnered through many lifetimes of spiritual cultivation. This is seen only by those with few defilements. Secondly, each Buddha manifests countless forms (Nirmanakaya: manifestation bodies), some ordinary and some extraordinary, so as to skilfully teach unenlightened beings. The Buddha in the flesh that our history saw was such an instance. Thirdly, every Buddha is part of the single unbounded universal reality (Dharmakaya: truth body). Of course, these three aspects of every Buddha interweave harmoniously.
The Trikaya might seem distant from us, yet we are somewhat aspects of it too. We have "reward bodies", though imperfect ones, since our present forms are the "crystallised" results of our positive and negative karma mixed together in the moment. Advancing towards Buddhahood, our forms naturally become further refined. We emanate "manifestation bodies" when we reach out with our words and actions in various ways to affect the world. Even the forwarding of emails to share the Dharma can be seen as a way of manifesting goodness to many. However, our means are not always skilful due to our imperfect compassion and wisdom. Likewise, on the path towards Buddhahood, we learn to become increasingly skilful. We are "part of" the Dharmakaya as we are aspects of the same reality that pervades all space and time, though this is yet to be fully realised.
There is no effect without cause. We can become Buddhas because we have Buddha-nature - the potential to be fully enlightened. As long as we are not Buddhas yet, this potential is always present. By default, the definition of the Trikaya is of immaculate perfection. As a figure of speech, the path to Buddhahood is like a spectrum, with unenlightened "Trikaya" on one end, and enlightened Trikaya on the other end. We are on the same spectrum of being as all Buddhas - though at the "wrong" end! Our mission is to transform our defiled "Trikaya" along the spectrum - to spiritually evolve in the right direction - towards realisation of the true and pure Trikaya. The right cause, coupled with the right conditions results in the right effects. Our Buddha-nature is the universal cause for Buddhahood. Our Bodhicitta aspiration and diligent actualisation of it offers the right conditions for the flower of Buddhahood to blossom (ie. bear effect). The holy Trikaya does not arise from nowhere - it is realised and perpetuated with none other than our spiritual practice. Yes, practice does makes perfect! - Shen Shi'an
One cannot avoid change, but one can avoid changing oneself for the worse. - stonepeace
See more on the Trikaya teaching in the "Buddha" section of http://www.kmspks.org/pdf/Lamp.pdf
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