I would like today to respond to Sujatin’s teaching of yesterday on Gratitude. To respond to one another is itself and expression of gratitude and is very important in Buddhism. The practice of ‘mondo’ – ‘question and answer’ or, more literally ‘gate’ and ‘path’ – is a very important element in Buddhism. The great majority of recorded instances of enlightenment experience occurred during an instance of mondo. We can say that mondo is repartie with full appreciation of the other.
There is a form of mondo that was much used by Master Dogen in which he would tell a traditional story or relate a teaching, often a koan, and then say, “And this mountain monk says, ….” and go on to give some further twist to the teaching. Often he would then pause and say, “And what do you say?”
So, firstly, much gratitude for your teaching, Sujatin. Now, this old hermit says… we can speak of three kinds of gratitude. The gift of material things such food sunshine, and the human body, is a pleasure and makes life possible. Then the gift of love and friendship touches the heart and makes life worthwhile. Finally, gift of the Dharma is supreme and makes life meaningful. These three types of gift all fill us with gratitude and joy.
Further, the Dharma is in all three gifts, so we can say, the Dharma of the material gift, the Dharma of the heart (or spiritual) gift, and the Dharma of the Dharma gift. These three gifts are the Three Bodies of Buddha.
When we regard the world in this way, the Light penetrates everywhere, everything and every time.