Shinji Shobogenzo Book 3, case 49 [2]

“The Buddha’s True Dharma Body

Is just like space

Manifesting its form according to circumstances

It is like the moon in water”

(poem from Tsuki)

‘Space’ [koku] was two connotations.

The ‘ku’ in ‘koku’ is the ku [emptiness] of the Heart Sutra: ‘form is emptiness, emptiness is form’

So, the suggestion is that the monk is ’empty’. Emptiness is not something separate from Existence.

The second connotation is that ‘space’ is a metaphor for Buddha Nature. Everywhere is the one ‘space’; there is no separation. We normally think that if something comes into existence and occupies a ‘space’, the ‘space’ disappears. However, buddhism says that the ‘something’ manifests both itself and the space it occupies. In other words, if there are no beings, there is no space. If there are no beings, then buddha nature does not appear.