What are “the body is empty”, “the heart is empty”, “the soul

is empty” and “the Dharma is empty”?

 

The body is given by the parents, thus one inherits characteristics

from them.  There are nine portals in a human body35 that different

kinds of impurity constantly flow through.  The body is a brief

combination of the four elements36 which eventually must disintegrate. 

Thus, the wise knows that the body is an illusion, and although he is

alive, he treats his body as if he were dead.  He only uses this illusory

body to learn about Tao and to practice Tao.  That is to awaken to

“the body is empty”.

 

Once one awakes to “the body is empty”, he then reflects upon his

heart.  The heart is not born nor does it disappear.  It is most divine

and mysterious.  When images appear, it also appears.  As images

disappear, it too disappears.  If one is awakened to his True Nature,

he is always aware of the Truth and will never stray away.  His heart

would not follow the cravings of desires and emotions, and is always

directed by his True Self.  That is to awaken to “the heart is empty”.

 

As one awakes to “the heart is empty”, he then reflects upon his

True Self.  The True Self is in ultimate quiescence.  When there is any

change, it is inspired and is all knowing.  The changes of the True Self

are endless.  Its divinity and mysticism cannot be comprehended.  As

one realizes the bright virtues of his own True Self and transcends the

cycle of birth, death and rebirth, he is enlightened and has all of the

wisdom.  His soul is mystic and natural.  When he becomes still, he

is eternal.  That is to awaken to “the soul is empty”.

 

When one awakes to “the soul is empty”, he then examines all Sutras

and Dharmas the Buddha left.  He realizes that all Sutras and Dharmas

are guides leading people to enlightenment, just like water is used to

wash dust and medicine is used to cure sickness.  Once one awakes to

the heart and soul are “empty”, he needs no Dharma, just like the sick

does not need any more medicine once he gets well.  That is to awaken

to “the Dharma is empty”.

 

In conclusion, the True Dharma is nothing but to awake to the origin

of the heart.  If one’s fancies do not end, he is tied down by desires. 

The heart originally is pure and tranquil, but it suddenly alternates

between activities and tranquility.  The heart originally has nothing,

but it abruptly becomes not empty.  When it’s not empty, yet is tranquil

and pure constantly, it has all of the wisdom.  When inspired, it

knows everything.  If any thought appears wisdom would be hidden. 

Being pure and tranquil as the norm, knowing that all Dharmas are

useless, and thinking of no good or evil, so to be envisioned as foolish

or inept are called practicing Tao.

 

Thus, without any thought is the meaning of tranquility.  Ridding

of all thoughts as they appear is the meaning of Dharma.  Following

Dharma is the meaning of practice.  The practice of the Tao of

Mankind does not exceed the accumulation of merits and the

following of the Truth.  One who wishes to become a Buddha

must make no distinction between himself and the others. 

Therefore, to become a Saint or to become an ordinary is one’s

own choice.