Subject and Object of Perception Produce Each Other

February 9, 2012. 60-minute dharma talk from Upper Hamlet in Plum Village, France. The sangha is in the 2011-2012 Winter Retreat. The talk is given in Vietnamese with English translation. A French translation is also available.

How do we invoke the Buddha’s name? Taking refuge in the Buddha. I take refuge in the Buddha. I take refuge in the Buddha in myself.We must be skillful. This is a deep practice, and how to practice to let the bodhisattva (great being) do everything for us, not just the sattva (living being): when we invoke the name of the Buddha or the bodhisattva in this way, we live fully in each moment. Calling the name and visualizing are the two methods for invoking. We call the name, touch the earth, visualize. There is a connection that is very close. We have the seed of enlightenment. Even listening to a dharma talk can be invoking if we have mindfulness, concentration, and insight. In fact, we can apply this to all our activities.

At 28-minutes, Thay continues to teach the current shastra, or commentary, that we are studying, Dignaga’s ?lambana-par?k??, discussing substantialism, the nature of svabhava, and realism. Thay summarizes the verses of the shastra up until this talk, starting with the first verse.

“Subject and object of perception produce each other; they do not manifest separately, just as the back cannot be without the front: you cannot remove the back without also removing the front. If you are sad, you are sad about something. There cannot be sadness about nothing. So we see that subject and object inter are, they have produced each other, and they may manifest at the same time.”