We Are All Buddhas by Thich Nhat Hanh

When we say, “I take refuge in the Buddha,” we can also understand that “The Buddha takes refuge in me,” because without the second part the first part isn’t complete. The Buddha needs us for awakening, understanding, and love to be real things and not just concepts. They must be real things that have real effects on life. Whenever I say, “I take refuge in the Buddha,” I hear “Buddha takes refuge in me.” There is a verse for planting trees and other plants:

I entrust myself to earth,
Earth entrusts herself to me.
I entrust myself to Buddha,
Buddha entrusts herself to me.

“I entrust myself to earth” is like “I take refuge in the Buddha.” (I identify myself with the plant.) The plant will die or be alive because of the earth. The plant takes refuge in the earth, the soil. But earth entrusts herself to me because each leaf that falls down and decomposes makes the soil richer. We know that the layer of soil that is rich and beautiful has been made by the vegetation. If the Earth is green and beautiful, it is because of this vegetation. Therefore, while the vegetation needs the earth, the Earth also needs the vegetation to express herself as a beautiful planet. So when we say, “I entrust myself to earth,” I am also saying: “Earth entrusts herself to me.” “I entrust myself to Buddha; Buddha entrusts herself to me.” It’s very clear that the wisdom, the understanding, and love of Shakyamuni Buddha need us to be real again in life. Therefore, we have a very important task: to realize awakening, to realize compassion, to realize understanding.

We are all Buddhas, because only through us can understanding and love become tangible and effective. Thich Thanh Van was killed during his effort to help other people. He was a good Buddhist, he was a good Buddha, because he was able to help tens of thousands of people, victims of the war. Because of him, awakening, understanding, and love were real things for many people. So we can call him a Buddha body, in Sanskrit we say “Buddhakaya.”

For Buddhism to be real, there must be a Buddhakaya, an embodiment of awakened activity. Otherwise Buddhism is just a word. Thich Thanh Van was a Buddhakaya. Shakyamuni was a Buddhakaya. When we realize awakening, when we are understanding and loving, each of us is a Buddhakaya. Being Peace, Full Circle
source credit:speakingtree

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