Introduction - 84,000 Dharma Doors
We who cultivate the Way should be cultivating non-attachment, whether it be to good and evil, or fine and ugly, right or wrong, slight or important, great or small -- none of that should be attached to. And we should cultivate and practice all 84,000 Dharma-doors, for each is foremost. There aren't 84,000 second-rate ones, or for that matter, 84,000 important ones or unimportant ones. So when you cultivate the Way, if you cultivate even the seemingly most insignificant Dharma door to accomplishment, then it counts, and again it's your cultivation of it that counts if the Dharma door is as big as Mount Sumeru. It's not the case that the slight one is not important, while the one huge as Mount Sumeru is.
- From the small comes the great,
- the near becomes the far,
- Starting near goes to far.
That's how one has success in cultivation. It's not to say, for example, "I'm not going to eat things I don't like the taste of, and I'll eat more of those foods that appeal to me more." People who cultivate the Way to be heroically vigorous in cultivating whatever Dharma they are involved in. Although it may seem to be the most insignificant Dharma door, but if you are able to cultivate it, you can accomplish your Way karma. And it may be the most important Dharma, but if you can't cultivate it, your Way karma won't be accomplished. If you fail to recognize an important Dharma, it becomes unimportant; an unimportant Dharma, if recognized, becomes important. It all depends on whether you recognize it or not. For example, when you eat, do you know what the things you eat taste like? If you do, then you'll have feelings about whether they taste good or bad. But if you aren't aware of what they taste like, you won't know if they taste good or bad or what. As it is said:
- In the door of Buddha's work
- Not one Dharma is rejected.
- In the substance of True Suchness,
- Not one speck of dust is set.
You can take any Dharma and cultivate it to accomplish Buddhahood. But in the self-nature of True Thusness, not even a dustmote can remain, which is why its light is all-pervasive.
Excerpt from a talk by Ven. Master Hua,
p. 14 - 15, "Listen to Yourself, Think Everything Over Vol. II"