“The Buddha’s true dharma body is just like space.Mahaparinirvana Sutra
Manifesting its form according to circumstances,
It is like the moon in water.”
This passage from the Nirvana Sutra talks about the relation between the particular and the universal, the concrete and the spiritual. And, by necessary implication, how we should practice.
“The Buddha’s true body is just like space”: space is boundless. It extends everywhere. It is not the air. It is not like water. When objects appear, when people appear, they don’t displace space; because there is nowhere that space doesn’t reach, there is nowhere extra for it to go to.
So the person, from this perspective, is both person and space. John, Michael, Anne, Rachel, Buddha.
We do not require to exclude the personal, the particular, the phenomenal to attain the universal, that is delusion. The particular is the universal. And vice versa.
“It is like the moon in water” : the moon is a common metaphor for enlightenment, Buddha. And water is a common metaphor for the mind.
Moonlight and water completely interpenetrate each other. It is not that there is a moon, standing somewhere apart, casting its secondhand light upon the water. No. The moon is in the water.
That being so, do not hate or love the thoughts, emotions, sensations and reactivity which arise from moment to moment. They are not clouds obscuring the sky, they are the sky.
Because just this is everything.