“So,” said Mañjuśrī to Vimalakīrti, “if a bodhisattva sees sentient beings as mirages and reflections, and so on, how can that bodhisattva then generate love for those very same sentient beings?”
“When a bodhisattva sees a sentient being as a mirage, a reflection, or the trail left by a flying bird,” replied Vimalakīrti, “there is no trace of assumption, expectation or judgement in his view. The way he sees the sentient being is not deceptive. As he is not deceived by his own view of sentient beings, there
is no deception at all. Isn’t that love?”
How is emptiness the essence of compassion?
The Vimalakīrti Nirdeśa Sūtra is one of the most famous and influential Mahāyāna Sūtras, known for its revolutionary messages of respect for lay practitioners and for the equal role of women in the Dharma. It is a quintessential portrait of the doctrine of nonduality of emptiness and compassion, and reveals this profound view through many episodes of mind-bending humor and daring. This section of "Introduction to Buddhism" is open to anyone, regardless of their level of practice or background, and will provide a thorough grounding in groundlessness and the ability to think inconceivably.
Classes will meet at the Lotus Light Center @501 Arthur St, Knoxville, to participate in the online streaming, or you can join in from wherever you are.
To register for remote viewing go to mocd.org/intro-to-buddhism-online.html or the ticket link above.
The sutra has been recently retranslated by Robert Thurman, who was Lama Karma's first teacher of this text, and is available for free online at 84000.co/the-sutra-of-the-teaching-of-vimalakirti/, along with a commentary by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche.