THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS

The Dharma Realm of Those Enlightened to Conditions

The holy sages enlightened to conditions
Doze high on mountain peaks alone.
Springtime's flowers wither in the fall
In a cycle of twelve interconnecting links.

Why am I asking you all these questions? Those Enlightened to Conditions (Pratyekabuddhas) don't like questions. They are recluses who don't like to be around other people. Today we are looking into the question of everyone being together, so you should not act like Those Enlightened to Conditions. When there is a Buddha in the world, they are called Those Enlightened to Conditions. When there is no Buddha in the world, they are called Solitarily Enlightened Ones, because they are able to become enlightened by themselves.

What do they like to do? They like to sleep in solitude on the mountain peaks. The holy sages enlightened to conditions. / Doze high on mountain peaks alone. / Springtime's flowers wither in the fall. / In a cycle of twelve interconnecting links. Speaking of Those Enlightened to Conditions, we should also become enlightened to causes and conditions. They cultivate the twelve causes and conditions. We, however, are cultivated by the twelve causes and conditions.

The first of the twelve causes and conditions is ignorance. They contemplate ignorance. "Where does it comes from? Strange! How can there be ignorance?" Then they see that ignorance leads to activity.

With the manifestation of activity, consciousness appears. Consciousness involves discrimination. Activity is a conditioned dharma while ignorance is neither conditioned nor unconditioned; it is between the two.

Why are discriminations made? Because of conditioned dharmas. The discriminating mind is a result of conditioned dharmas. With a discriminating mind, the trouble starts. Name and form are the trouble. Name" brings the trouble of name, and "form" brings the trouble of form. If I didn't talk about them, there wouldn't be any problems. Just mentioning them is asking for trouble, because you're bound to say, "How are name and form troublesome? I don't understand." Now you have the added trouble of "not understanding." Before I said anything, you didn't have that problem. Once I began talking, the problem of your not understanding arose and with it came the desire to know.

This quest for knowledge results in the use of the six sense faculties. See? The six sense faculties come into being because of the wish to understand. Have you ever heard such an explanation? No one has explained it this way before.

When you decide you want to know, the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind appear. You think you can gain understanding through them without realizing that the more you want to understand, the more confused you become, and the more confused you are, the less you understand.

Since you do not understand, you seek contact. You go around making contact at random: east, west, south, north, above, below; like a fly madly bouncing off the walls. Why does it bounce off the walls? Because it wants to understand.

Contact is just bumping up against things, going everywhere bouncing off the walls. You go everywhere hoping to understand, but all that results from this desperate attempt is a lot of bruises. After the determination to understand sets in and encounters occur, there is feeling. "Ow, that hurts!" Or, "Ah, I'm so comfortable. Right now I'm not bumping into things, and I feel really good." But when you bump against something, you don't feel good at all. You feel happy if no one is telling you that you're not nice. But you get upset when you hear someone criticize you. This is where feeling lies; it cannot be found outside.

Once there is feeling, craving and attachment arise. You give rise to craving and attachment for pleasant situations, but you feel aversion for unpleasant environments. Happiness and unhappiness come from craving and aversion, and so every day the trouble grows.

The holy sages enlightened to conditions. Doze high on mountain peaks alone. Springtime's flowers wither in the fall. In a cycle of twelve interconnecting links. The myriad things grow and prosper in the springtime, so the Pratyekabuddha sages contemplate and realize that everything undergoes the natural process of birth and death. They contemplate the hundreds of flowers blossoming in the springtime, and watch the dry leaves falling in the autumn." They contemplate the twelve causes and conditions.

Now we come to craving. The reason people feel unsettled is because of craving. Once there is craving, there is also aversion. You grasp at those things that you crave. What is meant by grasping? It means wanting to get hold of something. Because you have craving, you then want to obtain those objects in order to fulfill your desires. Thus grasping leads to becoming. Once you have these things for your own, there is further birth, which leads to old age and death. These are the twelve causes and conditions cultivated by Those Enlightened to Conditions.

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