Previously I’ve pointed out that the Yogacara Sutras of Patanjali state that the cultivation of the Spiritual Man is the man not bound by form, rather it’s being in oneness of spirit with the overruling soul which brings with it bliss. In Dhyana Buddhism (Chan/Zen), there’s a similar concept with “Buddha” sending instructions to Bodhisattvas (those with vows to remain devoted to the Dharma 法) through their bliss body, which is called the sambhogakaya. (This saying essentially that when one has cultivated sunyata, emptiness, their pure impulse to action is from an enlightened state; in other words, Pure Will).
The Three Bodies are known as the Trikaya, and according to the Wikipedia page for them these are summed up adequately as, the Dharmakāya or Truth body which embodies the very principle of enlightenment and knows no limits or boundaries; the Sambhogakāya or body of mutual enjoyment which is a body of bliss or clear light manifestation; the Nirmāṇakāya or created body which manifests in time and space. I titled the article “Stars in The Buddha Field” for this reason, this Buddha-field is essentially the same as the concept of the Pure Land, the term is described in On Pure Land Buddhism and Chan/Pure Land Syncretism In Medieval China by Robert H. Sharf: Although the Chinese term ching-t’u or Pure Land has no clear Sanskrit equivalent, it is closely associated with the Indian notion of a buddhaksetra or “buddha-field.” According to the Mahavastu, a buddha-field is that realm where “a tathagata, a holy one, fully and perfectly enlightened, is to be found, lives, exists and teaches the Law, for the benefit and happiness of the great body of beings, men and gods.”
In the Eight-Spoke Wheel of the Dharma (the symbol of the Buddha’s teachings), there are three swirls within the center hole which are symbolic of the Three Bodies. When in Samadhi, one is the “manifestation” of the Buddha, Buddha simply meaning that one is enlightened, awake and fully comprehending the Four Noble Truths. As Zen Master Sokei Daishi taught: “Your own nature is provided with the Three Bodies; when its brightness is manifested, the Four Wisdoms are attained.” He also wrote that, “The pure Dharmakaya is your nature; the perfect Sambhogakaya is your wisdom; the myriad Nirmanakayas are your activities.” In other words, these are True Speech, True Thought, and True Action, which are known as the Three Vajras, also known as the Three Doors, or the Three Mysteries, and are the “free and true” expressions of oneself. This means that one retains one’s “Buddha Nature Emptiness”, when acting truthfully, and this true self is only possibly present when the Three Poisons are absent, which are greed, anger, hatred etc. (Read this post on the “enabled body of enlightenment” for more information!)
Aleister Crowley in his Book of Purity wrote: “Self loveth silence. Yea, but mind distracteth it. Mind loveth rest; but passion’s pest allures the trembling wit. If man restrain desire, his mind will cease to roll, and mind’s release allow pure peace of silence to the soul. The senses will not soil; the thought will not upstress; nor poisons (greed, wrath, dullness) breed their triform deadliness.”
The way this Trikaya manifests is through the perseverance of the Law – Buddhists to manifest the Law take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. (Buddha being, that one believes non-dual attainment is reality and has been attained and thus is real and to be cultivated, the Dharma 法 is the Law, and the Sangha is the Brotherhood). When the Law is manifest everywhere, it is known as the “Pure Land” in China. We see this in the Thelemic Philosophy where “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law,” and Love is the 法, and every man and every woman is a star. Crowley stated the Book of the Law proved the existence of the soul. That line could also adequately be used to sum up the teachings of Chan/Zen Buddhism, where “do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the dharma,” but their language allows a bit more precision as 心 is cultivated (which simultaniously means ‘mind’, ‘heart’, and ‘soul’), and of course is about cultivating compassionate Wisdom – there’s an expression which says Knowledge doesn’t care, but Wisdom does.
In The Fearless Lion’s Roar: Profound Instructions on Dzogchen, the Great Perfection by Nyoshul Khenpo, it can be found that: “In order to benefit sublime beings on the spiritual levels as well as all sentient beings, the dharmakaya Buddha emanates in a form that can be perceived and experienced by beings. For this, the rupakaya or “body of enlightened form” is emanated, as the display of the dharmakaya buddha. The rupakaya refers to both the sambhogakaya and the nirmanakaya buddha emanations. First, from the vast expanse of the dharmakaya, due to the blessings, compassion, and power of that state of enlightenment, the boundless sambhogakaya buddha fields appear, arrayed like lights throughout infinite space.”
The above is the exact same as “every man and every woman is a star”, both philosophies/religions, Thelema and Zen both state that gender doesn’t matter and that non-duality and enlightenment is separate from the physical. What is sought for is a Gnosis of non-duality, a direct experience and acknowledgement of one’s own divinity. Thelema solving this by having Space and Matter both represented by Nuit (a body of space filled with stars), and through the Qabalistic model, each person’s core is the heart/Sun (Tipharet), thus providing perfect clarity on the illusion of separation.
I’ll end this post with some words from an excellent PDF that’s worth checking out, feel free to click the link! This is from Zen and Dzogchen: Unifying the Ground and Result: “This “state of presence” that is Buddha mind or Buddha gnosis (innate gnosis, sahajajnana) is transmitted directly, from master to prepared student, then practiced by the student. Again, Buddha Nature is the essential Nature of Mind, the very essence of the primordial ground or base or source. According to the Prasangika Madhyamikas, this vast emptiness base is not just a negative void, a “non-affirming emptiness,” but a luminous clarity, a brightness that is an affirming emptiness, and it pervades all phenomena including all us sentient beings. We are luminous beings of light! As this state of presence is originally and perfectly pure, from the very beginning, obstructing thoughts, desires and karmic actions need not be denied, renounced or transformed, but merely allowed to self-liberate (rang grol, zenkan, kensho, satori)—at the very instant of their arising—into their “primordially pure” source condition, the already present nondual awareness ground that is always our actual original identity, our Zen mind-Buddha mind.”