Seeing True Nature: Reading Reality 2
Because essence and form are nondual, the essence of existence is knowing-dharmas and the essence of knowing-dharmas is existence. To be more precise, existence is knowledge, and knowledge is existence.
To clarify, ‘essence’ means ‘reality as it is,’ ‘the true nature of reality,’ or ‘thusness’ (i.e. the actual material or fabric of existence-time). ‘Form’ means ‘reality as it is appears,’ ‘phenomena,’ or ‘dharmas’ (i.e. what is known or encountered by sentient beings, i.e. sights, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, and thoughts). ‘Essence and form are nondual’ means all reality is dharmas and all dharmas are real. Therefore, the ‘essence of existence’ is ‘knowing-dharmas.’ Likewise, ‘knowing-dharmas’ is the ‘essence of existence.’
In sum, because essence and form are nondual, the ‘enlightened perspective’ (i.e. the ‘essence’ of normal seeing; kensho, kenbutsu) can be activated by dharmas, for example, ‘understandable explanations’ of techniques to focus consciousness on dharmas here-now (i.e. Zen’s ‘skillful means’). For the place-time (reality, essence) dharmas are known is the place-time dharmas exist, and the place-time dharmas exist is the place-time dharmas are known. This place-time being only and always here-now, nothing (i.e. no dhama) in the universe is concealed.
In the great truth of the Buddha-Dharma, the sutras of the great-thousandfold [world] are present in an atom, and countless buddhas are present in an atom. Each weed and each tree are a body-mind. Because the myriad dharmas are beyond appearance, even the undivided mind is beyond appearance. And because all dharmas are real form, every atom is real form. Thus, one undivided mind is all dharmas, and all dharmas are one undivided mind, which is the whole body. If building stupas were artificial, buddhahood, bodhi, reality as it is, and the buddha-nature, would also be artificial. Because reality as it is and the buddha-nature are not artificial, building images and erecting stupas are not artificial. They are the natural establishment of the bodhi-mind: they are merit achieved without artificiality, without anything superfluous.
Shobogenzo, Hotsu-mujoshin, Gudo Nishijima & Mike Cross