Diamond Sutra: Chapter 7

Then Buddha asked, “What do you think, Subhuti, has the Buddha attained the highest, most fulfilled, most awakened and enlightened mind? Does the Buddha teach anything?”
Subhuti replied, “As far as I have understood you, there is no independently existing object of mind called the highest, most fulfilled, awakened or enlightened mind. Nor is there any independently existing teaching that you teach. Why? Because the teachings that you have realized and spoken of cannot be conceived of as separate, independent things and so cannot be described. The truth in them is uncontainable and inexpressible. What does this mean? What this means is that Buddhas and disciples are not enlightened by a set method of teachings, but by an internally intuitive process which is spontaneous and is part of their own inner nature.”

The message is clear. We awaken ourselves. Buddhas and teachers do not awaken us. A teacher can only point the way or set an example. It’s important to remember this. Sometimes students want the teacher to walk the path for them and that is simply not how the path works.

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About Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg is an independent dharma teacher living in Kansas City. He gives online teachings through the Open Heart Project. He also runs the Monday Night Zen Group at the Rime Buddhist Center. His writing has appeared in Lion's Roar, Patheos, Tattooed Buddha, and Elephant Journal.

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