“As human beings we have the same experience of destructive and constructive emotions. We also have a human mind capable of developing wisdom. We all have the same Buddha nature.” ~ Dalai Lama
Buddha nature means discovering one’s true potential. Each one of us inherently have the potential to purify our mind, reach a higher mental state and overcome suffering. But the manifestation of this nature is prevented because our mind is buried under the load of unwanted thoughts and worldly desires, either due to our circumstances or conditioning.
Like the moon hidden behind the clouds, is not moved by them as its purity remains untarnished.Similarly, we shouldn’t be deluded into thinking that this defiled mind is our true mind or real nature.
If we continually remind ourselves of this fact and strive to awaken within ourselves the pure mind of Enlightenment. “The mind that is not disturbed by things as they occur, that remains pure and tranquil under all circumstances, is the true mind and should be the master.”
“We cannot say that an inn disappears just because the guest is out of sight; neither can we say that the true self has disappeared when the defiled mind which has been aroused by the changing circumstances of life has disappeared. That which changes with changing conditions is not the true nature of mind.” ~ from The Teaching of the Buddha
Here are four parables to remind you of your Buddha nature and look beyond the delusions of the mind and find your real self taken from The Teachings of Buddha
Parable 1 –
Once upon a time a man looked into the reverse side of a mirror and, not seeing his face and head, he became, insane. How unnecessary it is for a man to become insane merely because he carelessly looks into the reverse side of a mirror!
It is just as foolish and unnecessary for a person to go on suffering because he does not attain Enlightenment where he expects to find it. There is no failure in Enlightenment; the failure lies in those people who, for a long time, have sought Enlightenment in their discriminating minds.
Without realizing that theirs are not true minds but imaginary minds that have been caused by the accumulation of desires and illusions that cover and hides the real mind.
Parable 2 –
There is an old story told of a man who fell into a drunken sleep. His friend stayed by him as long as he could but, being compelled to go and fearing that he might be in want, the friend hid a jewel in the drunken man’s garment. When the drunken man recovered, not knowing that his friend had hid a jewel in his garment, he wandered about in poverty and hunger. A long time afterwards the two men met again and the friend told the poor man about the jewel and advised him to look for it.
Like the drunken man of the story, people wander about suffering in this life of birth and death, unconscious of what is hidden away within themselves.
Parable 3 –
There is a story of a wrestler who used to wear an ornament on his forehead of a precious stone. One time when he was wrestling the stone was crushed into the flesh of his forehead. He thought he had lost the gem and went to a surgeon to have the wound dressed. When the surgeon came to dress the wound he found the gem embedded in the flesh and covered over with blood and dirt. He held up a mirror and showed the stone to the wrestler.
Buddha-nature is like the precious stone of this story: it becomes covered over by the dirt and dust of other interests and people think that they have lost it, but a good teacher recovers it again for them.
This nature exists in everyone no matter how deep it has been covered by greed, anger and foolishness, or buried by the persons own deeds and retribution. Buddha-nature can not be lost or destroyed; and when all defilements are removed, sooner or later it will reappear.
Like the wrestler in the story who was shown the gem buried in his flesh and blood by means of a mirror, so people are shown their true selves, buried beneath their worldly desires and passions, by means of the light of Buddha.
Parable 4 –
Once upon a time a king gathered some blind men about an elephant and asked them to tell him what an elephant was like. The first man felt a tusk and said an elephant was like a giant carrot; another happened to touch an ear and said it was like a big fan; another touched its trunk and said it was like a pestle; still another, who happened to feel its leg, said it was like a mortar; and another, who grasped its tail said it was like a rope. Not one of them was able to tell the king the elephant’s real form.
Similarly if you try to define the nature of man, we would probably end up covering the flaws and the perfections. Not many of us are capable of fathoming our awakened selves or this nature of mind, given the fact that it is so rare to find awakened people.
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