Buddha's Enlightenment (Teaching by Richard Shrobe)

Once a student, while in a particular mind set, said to me, "If I hear one more talk about Buddha's enlightenment, I think I'll scream." This raises a question as to the purpose of our coming together to celebrate, commemorate, and recollect Buddha's enlightenment.  At Providence Zen Center, there hangs a calligraphy which reads:

Buddha went to Snow Mountain. 
Sat, don't know. Six years passed. 
Saw a bright star, got enlightenment.
Without thinking, full universe.

The essence of Buddha’s Enlightenment is in the last line:  “Without thinking, full universe.”  Two aspects are pointed out here:  "full universe” and “without thinking.”  “Full universe” means  “nothing” is not nothing.  To think “nothing” is nothing is like the old Gershwin song form the opera Porgy and Bess: “I got plenty of nothing.” That means you are carrying a big bundle of nothing around with you, i.e. you are clinging to nothing.  However, the second line of the song says, “And nothing’s plenty for me.” “Nothing” truly perceived and practiced means that without holding or grasping, we clearly connect with everything we encounter or touch, moment by moment by moment and that truly is the practice of manifesting Buddha’s enlightenment as “full universe.”

Edahn Small