A Heart Filled with Compassion and Wisdom
last chapter from an article by Gesshin Myoko Prabhasa Dharma, Zenji
written in 1986 for the World Fellowship of Buddhists

          Don't weep, insects
          Lovers, stars themselves,
          must part.
                                  Issa

Seeing that, fundamentally, human nature is identical with this pure undefiled Essence or Suchness Mind and when all ideas based upon falsely apprehended ego-consciousness are abandoned, the mind will be naturally pure and free from clinging. It is contented, serenely moving along with the arising and dissolution of the phenomenal events without being disturbed by them. This function of the Absolute or Essence is known as prajna, transcendental wisdom, the Sacred Mother of all Buddhas. Prajna is not to be categorized in any way; it is absolutely fundamental to all and undifferentiated!

All Buddhist teachings are arising from the realization of this Prajna of the voidness of self and all phenomena. Satori (enlightenment) is the term given to the experience we have when we awaken to the above mentioned function of the Cosmic Law (Dharma). When self manifests as this Mind-Essence, as Dharma-nature, freely arising and dissolving in accordance with ultimate reality, it is prajna in action. This awakening is at the same time the awakening of true compassion. True compassion is not possible without profound understanding and realization of the nature of all things, animate and in-animate. As soon as we understand completely, we love, we are love.

Looking upon all living beings with the eyes of wisdom, which see the essentially tranquil Essence void of any selfishness to be our common nature, whether we know or don't know it, is Love. To see all beings as Buddhas, to understand the true nature of their minds and actions to be also void of self and to be love, is prajna.

Returning to one's root is to return to the root of all; coming forth from one's root all things arise simultaneously."Coming forth from the root" means to come forth from the gut of the universe, the gut of the Tathagata, the suchness of incomparable and unbounded love. It is to give birth to a world of love and understanding, resulting in compassionate action for the benefit of all. It is first of all desiring complete happiness and satisfaction through "being in the light", through pure being, in communion with all; it is to be in touch with one's authentic self which is no other than other as well. Sometimes the most compassionate action is non-doing; certainly the most compassionate act toward ourselves is non-interference with the Cosmic Law (Dharma).

I take refuge in the Buddha, absolute self.
I take refuge in the Dharma, the teaching of Ultimate Reality.
I take refuge in the Sangha, the community of all living beings.

The Japanese haiku poet Issa said:

          It is deep autumn
          my neighbor
          how does he live?

This concern of Issa is the true spirit of the birth of Jesus Christ. What concern and help did her fellow humans give Mary and her baby on that cold winter night? What concern do we today, this Christmas night have for each other?

Let us embrace each other in the realization of this Absolute and Unconditioned Love, in the realization of the one body and one mind that we are. That we breathe ourselves into Buddha/God/Christ, and that Buddha/God/Christ breathes him/herself into us. That the one process of breath brings alternately forth God-Absolute and God-Incarnate, breathing out I vanish in God, breathing in God vanishes in me.

May the Buddhas of all times and space bless us all. May we bless everything.

Gesshin Prabhasa Dharma

November 15, 1986 Los Angeles