Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I earn my livelihood as a health professional and this health field has healing as its purpose. We're told that the words heal  and whole are related and the healing arts and sciences strive to make us whole again.I hear people talk about dharma practice or mindfulness as "healing work" too, but I wonder if that's really what we're doing. 
In Japanese Dharma, we use the term hongaku which means "original enlightenment". It proposes that our spiritual challenge is one of recognizing or, as we say, realizing that we have always been and always will be not-different from the 10,000 Buddhas. We have not lost anything, we are not incomplete, broken, sick or corrupted. Our human life is constructed from our mistaking this realm as in some way permanent. It is this mis-apprehension which brings about our suffering. So, what will bring us relief is insight and not some act of healing. We are not ill or broken, so we do not need healing or wholing.
When we slide into the language of healing and look for ways to respond, we reinforce the idea that something happened, and our prior wholeness has been compromised, we became un-healthy. This also reinforces a view of ourselves as diminished, as dis-eased - "we're just not ourselves these days".  As I take it, the Dharma message is different from such an illness or un-whole one. We are already full and complete, there is nothing out of place, dis-eased or incomplete. Even our lives within the conditioned realm of birth and death is a possible way to be. Its just that it comes with the consequences of suffering and death. In short, we are not being called by the Buddhas to "heal ourselves" but to realize our Buddha-nature.

in the Dharma, 
Innen, doshu

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