PZI Teacher Archives
SUTRA on Indra’s magnificent jeweled net:
Far away, in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out indefinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel at the net’s every node, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering like stars of the first magnitude. A wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one the these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewels is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that the process of reflection is infinite.
—from the Avatamsaka Sutra (Chinese: Huayen, English: Flower Garland)
“What is this?” asked the eccentric Zen teacher Budai, holding up odd objects to a crowd. The universe is an intimate net, its jeweled facets contain everything, including the smell of fresh toast. All living beings must turn toward the ultimate. This is deeper than any sorrow, horror, disgrace. The strangeness and beauty of now, of life, is beyond explanation. And this moment has always been here.
The universe pours through Indra’s jewels. No part of the world is walled off. From a talk in Summer Sesshin on June 16, 2022. 1 minute.