Hua-Yen Theory


WE try our best to describe the elevation of spirit of Buddha:
As a matter of fact, it is impossible to describe the elevation of spirit of Buddha, here, we just try to give readers some ideas through four angles: Mutual Entering, Mutual Approach, No Hindrance, and the Whole One.

THE idea of Mutual Entering is very closed to the idea of “Arising depending on conditions and the nature of all phenomena is emptiness”, and the main point of this idea is that everything worldly or non-worldly cannot exist independently or separately.

THE Mutual Entering including: Mutual arising at same time, Mutual entering at same time, Mutual depending at same time, and Mutual comprising at same time.

A glass of water, it is just a drink in ordinary people’s eyes, it is a chemical compound of H2O in chemist’s eyes, it is a phenomena of element of Sub-atomic in physicist’s eyes, it is a external appearance of retribution(Chain of cause and effect) in philosopher’s eyes …, it can be something else because of the angle being used. The point is that all kinds of things can arise, exist same time in a same glass of water and DOES NOT interfere one another. Not only like that, these things also are mutual entering, just like the light of million lamps can mutually enter but do not interfere one another.

TALKING about Mutual depending, if the ingredients of water “H2O” are changed, and become spoiled then it can not be a drink, also will affect the physical qualities and become something else.

TALKING about Mutual comprising, The H2O and the phenomena of sub-atomic are not outside the water, meaning there are all kinds of things(phenomena) inside the fluid matter, from another point of view, everything in water also comprise the relation that cannot be separated from fluid matter, therefore, they are mutually comprised.

THE philosopher Mr. Whitehead in his “Modes of Thought” has an idea like this:
He classified the things of the world nature into six modes: the first kind is human being, the second kind is animal, the third kind is insects in general, the vertebrates, and other kinds of animal, the third kind is all kinds of plants, the fourth kind is single cells, the fifth kind is the large size of inorganic matter, and the sixth kind is the physical phenomena of sub-atomic of that very tiny world.

ALL these things in six modes(Worlds), their functions and existences affect one another, depend(Rely) on one another, enter into one another, if any category changed will affect the other category. Mr. Whitehead said: “The different modes of natural existence shade off into one another.” Mr. Whitehead emphasized that these things in different modes are all mutual depended, mutual existed, we should not look into them through the isolated angle, because all of them are part of the organic whole.

MR. Whitehead said: “There are always two subjects in an experienced event, one is the experience itself, another is the world that is experienced. From one point of view the world is in my experience, from another point of view my experience is also in that world. When I am sitting in a room, this room is part of my experience, in the meantime I am also part of this room.”

THE idea of Mr. Whitehead is also the theory of “Mutual Comprising”, there is no one thing or event can arise or exist independently, “A” can exist because of “B”, “C”, “D” and so on. “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” not only can mutually depend but also mutually comprise. Mr. Whitehead’s idea: “If there is no mutual immanence, there is no retribution. We are inside the world, also the world is inside us. The body is ours, also we are part of the actions of the body. And this is the only way can explain the connections and retributions of worldly things.”

IF we understand the point we have just mentioned, Our mind will become totally different when we look at the things. The heavenly world and our world are also mutual arising, mutual entering. In a same time same space, sages are enjoying always, but we are suffering all the time, why so many different worlds arise same time, these all because of the differences of the elevation of mind and the “Accumulation of past activities”, this is also a very outstanding example of “Mutual arising” and “Mutual entering”.

IN the Buddhist’s Scripture: “Poti(Enlightenment) belongs to all beings, if there is no beings, all Potisadvas(Practitioners) cannot reach the level of Buddha.”, someone in the history said: “Without God, man is hopeless and helpless; without man, God is useless and meaningless”, from this point of view, the theory of “Mutual depending” and “Mutual belonging” are the main ingredient of all religions.

TALKING about the WHOLE ONE also meaning “Visibility(Show) and Invisibility(Hiding) at the same time”, is to the individual and the opposite. When we observe the structure of human languages(X is Y)(Subject-Verb-Object), we will discover that it is limited, narrow, and hoodwinked. From the common sense point of view we can say that water is one kind of drink, but from the chemistry point of view we also can say that water is H2O, we can say this say that by the individual point of view. “X is so, only in relation to so and so”.

WHEN we make one part of the subject visible, we make another part of the same subject invisible simultaneously, in the Hua Yen Theory, the principle is called “Visibility and Invisibility at the same time”. Spinoza, the Dutch philosopher said: “Any affirmative words also are negative words at the same time.” One can see therefore, the basic structure of human language “X is Y” is hoodwinked from the essential character point of view.

WHEN part A of a subject is visible, at the same time, part B, C, D, and more parts of the same subject are invisible, they are invisible but still existent(They are not vanished or destroyed). All parts of the same subject are existent and do not harm or interfere with one another. Like the new moon, one part of the moon is bright and the other part is dark, these two parts of the moon exist at the same time. They do not harm each other, do not interfere with each other. This is also the elevation of spirit of WHOLE ONE’s world.

THE main idea of Hua Yen philosophy is that it is not limited by any individual standpoint and it includes the whole(Everything). It does not posit that everything are existent absolutely, because from the view of individual standpoint, the whole one is also empty. Everything are or will be empty after all.

WHEN we introduce the “WHOLE ONE”, we try to let the readers understand that the Whole One includes two parts, one is “Approach” and the other one is “Leave”. If we could understand “Approach” and “Leave” are the same thing, just like the “Visibility” and the “Invisibility” are existent at the same time, then we will know the idea of “Perfection and Completion” in Hua Yen’s theory.

WHEN master Du Shun was asked “Are everything exist?”, answered “No, everything are empty, do not have their original nature, because everything arise depending on conditions”, asked “So everything should be empty and not exist?”, answered “Also no, because everything have been existing ever since beginningless time”, asked “In this case, everything are exist and also empty?”, answered “No, [the exist] and [the empty] already become ONE, there is no dualistic appearance, just like gold and gold product are the same originally”, asked “So everything must be [not exist] and [not empty]?”, answered “No, not like that, we can say that everything is exist and also empty, because of that, everything can exist simultaneously without interfering one another”, sked “Everything that arise depending on conditions must be empty eventually?”, answered “Also no, because The Exist and The empty are mixed together, and all lose their own appearance, therefore everything do not exist anymore”.

THE point for the above conversation is that master Du Shun always change his standpoint for answering the questions. We can say that master Du Shun does not have any standpoint, or he does not persist in his own opinions, or his answer are from the standpoint of the WHOLE ONE.

IF we think deeper for those all “NO” answers, the real intention of master Du Shun was trying to help his followers to get rid of persisting in all kinds of passions. Because the “NO” is the sign for all negatives, the “NO” is also close to the “Empty’ too.

THERE was an old monk sitting in the room, doing nothing with one of his students standing behind him. Two of his students, student A and B were arguing about something outside the room, for a while, student A rushing to the room, giving the description of argument to the old monk, and asking “Master, am I right?”, the old monk answering “You are right”, student A rushing to student B who is outside the room, few minutes later, student B also rushing to the room and giving his opinion about the argument to the old monk, and asking the same question “Master, am I right?”, the old monk answering “You are right”, student B so happy and leaving the room, in this moment the student behind the old monk asking the old monk with whispering voice “Master, if A is right, B must be wrong, if B is right, A must be wrong, how come they are all [right]?”, the old monk answering “You are right too”.

WHY? Because the old monk is already in the level of the WHOLE ONE, he can accept all kinds of opinions. As a matter of fact, the old monk can also give negative answers to his students like “You are wrong”, it all because that the old monk already surpassed any standpoint and does not have his original nature.

“Everything are affirmative, everything are negative”, is the “Perfection and Completion” idea of the Hua Yen theory, is also the conclusion of “Existence” and “Emptiness” becoming “ONE”(Existence equal Emptiness). When we understand this “ONE”, then we might understand the next “In the level of higher dimension, [Everything are one, one is everything] [This is that, that is this] [Big equal small] [Past same as present], everything are not interfere with one another”.

HERE, we will talk more about the acceptance of opposite opinion of the affirmative and the negative simultaneously in Hua Yen theory.
Any orders or rules are effective in certain dimension, but will not be effective in higher dimension. Generally, the rules of lower dimension will be given up and the rules of the higher dimension will be quoted when the rules of lower dimension are not enough for the situations or become not effective. We can see all kinds of examples in the fields of any science, human culture, and morals.

THE Hua Yen philosophy does not attempt to destroy any rules or things of every dimension utterly, contrariwise, it tries to build rules and things for all dimensions, at the same time makes all rules and things coexistent, mutual entered, and not hindered.

THE reason that Hua Yen theory has so much freedom can express whatever it likes, is that it does not have any limitation of certain standpoint, and surpass any standpoint. In the essentiality, the way that Hua Yen looks at things is different from the elementary knowledge(Common sense) utterly, therefore the Hua Yen is not hindered by rules of the common sense.

THE point of view of the Hua Yen is not from the certain or special standpoint, it observes numberless things of numberless dimensions from the standpoint of the WHOLE ONE, therefore it can include everything and form everything.

WHEN liberating from the constraint of a dimension does not mean the rules or things of that dimension are infringe or destroyed. This kind of liberation means the sublimation of “No hindrance”, and the new enlargement and the new estimation of old dimension.

THE rules of higher and lower dimensions sound like contradicted frequently, but this kind of contradiction mostly are the projections of our persisting in original nature. The whole picture of the Hua Yen is a great harmony and great coexistence. In universes (Material and Non-material worlds), all hindrances and contradictions are vanished, this is the level of Hua Yen.

Mutual approach means that everything in universes are the same, not different. For example, stone is water, metal is flower, animal is house … and so on. It is very hard to imagine and understand this subject. The reason is that most of us never have the direct experiences of “Mutual approach”.
We live in a world of all things that are different, not in a world of all things that are mutual approach. Our mind spends most of the time and energy on how to calculate costs or gains in different things. Because we are lacking in the direct experiences of “Mutual approach” or “Coequal”, therefore we cannot provide any information to imagine.
The functions of human being’s wisdom must depend on marks and languages, the crystallization of languages and marks must have enough information of experiences and feelings. If we are lacking in the experiences of “Mutual approach”, it is impossible for us to create the languages of “Mutual approach”.
It is also very hard for those who have the experiences of “Mutual approach” to describe the “Mutual approach”, because human’s languages and thoughts are not fit together with “Mutual approach”. But we still try to describe the “Mutual approach” with several parables, wish readers could have some ideas when we reach the end.

FIRST parable: Water and waves, although waves have unending changes and different appearances but are water originally, this wave and that wave maybe different in size, shape, and energy but they are all water. Waves and water actually are the ONE, just like numberless different living things, as a matter of fact, they are the vicissitudes of “Real inner self’s functions” of “Universe Heart”.

SECOND parable: Gold and gold products, gold products have all kinds of appearances but are gold originally. Here, we try to search for a [Common Foundation] for numberless different things through these two parables.
Since numberless different things share the same body of [Common Foundation], therefore, the “Mutual approach” among all different things should be not the problem. The [Common Foundation] of all things, sometimes we call it “Buddha Mind”, “Buddha Nature”, sometimes we call it “Unchanging reality”, “Beyond material distinction or material reality”.

THE Hua Yen philosophy was generated in China, the Chinese call [Common Foundation] “Li”, and Chinese call all things “Shi”. The “Mutual approach” means all things are not hindered one another, like we mentioned above(like car is house, stone is animal), this is hard to accept, but if we can accept that all things and [Common Foundation] are the same, like gold products and gold have same nature or all waves and water also have same nature, then the idea of “all gold products are the same” or “all waves are the same” should be easy to be accepted. We just try to make “the Common Foundation” and all things are not hindered one another” like a bridge, through this bridge, we can understand and accept that all things are not hindered one another.

THIS is a relative world, everything has its opposite side, such as: good and bad, high and low, happy and sad, rich and poor, yes and no … and so on. If we can remove or melt these opposite sides, let them become ONE, and this is the elevation of spirit of “Mutual approach”.

THE precondition for removing all opposite sides and reaching the elevation of spirit of “Mutual approach” is to get rid of all the “persisting in original nature”, which is the basic hindrance for reaching the elevation of spirit of “completeness or perfection”.

FOUR DIMENSIONS (Four universe) (Four Dharmadhatu)
The Material form world, the Common Foundation world, the “Common Foundation and Material form are not hindered one another” world, and the “Material form and Material form are not hindered one another” world.

DIMENSION here, means territory, scope, or world of a special kind. The Material form world means the world of everything, including the things that have appearance, mass, such as: flowing water, birds twitter and fragrance of flowers, mountains these all belong to the Material form world or the phenomenon world.

THE Common Foundation dimension.
There is no such word to describe the Common Foundation, maybe we can use the words “Rationale of things” but not exactly. The “Rationale of things” including not only doctrines, teachings, reasons, real inner self, beyond material distinction or material reality, original nature, but also the “Rationale of things” of rules and laws that govern the functions and changing of all things.

GENERALLY speaking, the “Rationale of things” does not belong to the territory(category) of the sense organs, we cannot see them with eyes, touch them with hands or body, hear them with ears, but we will feel and reach them through rational faculty or wisdom. All different phenomenon and things in this world give evidence of the “Rationale of things”, they cannot escape from the “Rationale of things”.

THE “Rationale of things” of Hua Yen theory is to look at all things from the standpoint of WHOLE. Therefore the “Rationale of things” in dimensions is either the “Rationale of things” of “One including everything” and “Everything including one” or the “Rationale of things” of “Mutual entering” and “Mutual approach” of simplicity and complex.

THE circulation of the four seasons, the waxing and waning of the moon and sun, the birth and death of animals, the growth and decay of vegetation … and so on, are not the accidental phenomena, all these functions and changing are all regulated by certain kinds of “Rationale of things”, nothing can transgress what is reasonable.

THE main point of the Hua Yen philosophy is “Tathata”, translated into English is “The unconditioned, unchanging reality”, but the meaning of “Tathata” can be different because of the ideas of different parties. Let us try to give it some more meaning.
The “Rationale of things” or “Tathata” means the “Universal Mind” or the “Emptiness”.

UNIVERSAL Mind or “One Mind” is the foundation of life and death, nirvana, and all things, this MIND leaves all external appearance, relieves from all senses, surpasses all ME and MINE(Subject and Object), its original nature is emptiness, silent, and true peace. This MIND also includes everything, changes everything, can be the world of void, can be the world of senses, and is without any hindrance.

THE “Common Foundation and Material Form are not hindered one another” dimension, the “Rationale of things” dimension and “Material Form” dimension are inseparable in most situations. All kinds of examples around us will give approval that “Rationale of things” and “Material Form” cannot be separated. If there is no Material Form, the Rationale of Things will be without real substance and useless, if there is no Rationale of Things, the material Form will not be existent and carried on.

MASTER Du Shun gave us few samples about the “Common Foundation and Material Form are not hindered one another” dimension:

[All things(Material Forms) can be individually separately existent but the “Common Foundation” is always there and all over the places, cannot be separated, and every “Material Form” always includes the whole part of the “Common Foundation”(Rationale of things).]

THIS should be easy to understand in today’s world, for example: Universal Gravitation is efficacious all over the places, but the individually things happen everywhere like water flowing everywhere, petals falling everywhere. And every individual case(Material Form) contains the whole part of Universal Gravitation(Rationale of things). If we think it deeper, the Buddha Mind or Buddha Nature or Original Nature is always everywhere and individually we really own the whole part of the Buddha Mind or Buddha Nature or Original Nature.

[The separate, individual thing(Material Forms) and the non-separate, all over the placed “Rationale of things” are totally(Whole) the same, not just part of them the same.]
The subject is exactly like “Form is emptiness; Emptiness also is Form. Emptiness is no other than Form; Form is no other than emptiness.” We might have to spend more time to understand and accept this idea.

IF A equals Emptiness, and B also equals Emptiness, therefore A equals B totally or A is B. Same reason, if A thing equals the “Rationale of things” totally, and B thing also equals the “Rationale of things” totally, then A thing equals B thing or A thing is B thing. In this way, all individual things in universes are equal totally. And this is the elevation of spirit of “All things are One, One is All things” that Yogacara’s practitioners experienced during the deep meditation.

AS we know that the “Thing” does not have material substance and is equal to “Rationale of things” totally not partially, and the “Rationale of things” is all over the dimensions and cannot be separated, in this case the “Thing” should be all over the dimensions also.

AS human beings, we always persist in our original nature, we do not have the experience of “Perfect”, therefore we cannot accept the ideas like “All things are one” “One is all things”. That is why we have to destroy the “Persisting in original nature” first, through the idea of “Rationale of things”, and reach the level of “No Hindrance”.

The big and the small are the same. Let us see the idea below:

THE Master Du Shun had idea like this: [The whole ocean is within a wave but the ocean does not shrink or become smaller]. As a matter of fact, we only need to study a little drop of that big ocean, we will deduce the whole peace of that ocean. Although the wave is small but still is a part of that big ocean, since this little wave is interconnected with that big ocean, then should be easy for us to calculate all situations of that big ocean. So we can say that the big ocean is within this little wave and the ocean does not shrink or become smaller.

ANOTHER words, this little wave contains all kinds of ingredients and causes of the big ocean, therefore this little wave does not have to be enlarged and still can be all over that big ocean.

{Master Du Shun did not want to prove the dimension(world) of “Perfection” or “Completeness” with rational faculty, but just try to let his follower understand and accept the idea of principle and level of “Common Foundation and Material Form are not hindered one another”, and “Material Form and Material Form are not hindered one another” with the way of talking reasons and giving parables.}

{Of course this is the level that is very hard to reach, unless we can surpass the dimension we are in, and get rid of the constraints of thoughts of the original nature.}

[Do not change the limited and individual appearance of “Things” or “Forms” and at the same time still can include the “Foundation” that is all over the universes.] is the real elevation of spirit of “Common Foundation and Material Form are not hindered one another”.
When the ocean is all over the waves, the ocean is not cut up into pieces to fit every wave, at the same time the ocean still maintain the WHOLE that is all over the waves. When all waves are all over the ocean, they are not changed in appearance and not hindered one another.

ALL opposite, contrary, and impossible things in universes become alike and possible things in Hua Yen theory. It because we look at these things through some certain or limited standpoint, we make these things opposite and contrary. If we look at all opposite and contrary things through the standpoint of “No original nature” or WHOLE, then they all become part of the WHOLE, perfect, and not hindered.

AS a matter of fact, there are no four worlds or four dimensions in universes, there is only one dimension which is the “Material form and Material form are not hindered one another”. The other three are created expediently for explaining the “Material form and Material form are not hindered one another” dimension.

WHEN we practice the “Rationale of things and Material form are not hindered one another”, we have to assemble, harmonize all things in the “Rationale of things” in order to reach the level of “No Hindrance”. Assembling and harmonizing the material substances, which has no original nature, into the “Rationale of things” of “Emptiness”, then we can reach the level of “Mutual Entering”, “Mutual Approach”, and the “Perfection and Completion”.

FOR those who want to follow the religious order. Understanding and passing the level of “Rationale of things and Material form are not hindered one another” in order to reach the level of “Material form and Material form are not hindered one another” is also the sequence of reaching the level of “Completion and Perfection”(Enlightenment).

WHEN looking at the “Material form and Material form are not hindered one another”(((IT)))through the “absolutely unconditioned and unchanging reality” standpoint, then, IT is always like that, IT does not need any assistance or evidence, no matter we know IT or we don’t know IT, IT is always there. IT is revealed always without going through the step of “Rationale of things and Material form are not hindered one another”. The real dimension or elevation of spirit of IT is that Material Forms and Material Forms are mutual entering, mutual containing, and mutual approach without going through the “Rationale of things”.

This is the most important and complete observation during meditations according to Hua Yen theory, here, we try to introduce the main ideas for this observation:

FIRST idea: Generally when we look at things, the things are revealed and the “Rationale of things” is hidden, when we look at the “Rationale of things”, the “Rationale of things” is revealed and the things are hidden. But here, the idea is that when practitioners are observing things, as a matter of fact, observing the “Rationale of things”, meaning the “Rationale of things” and things are the same, “The reveal” and “The hidden” are mutually approaching.

SECOND idea: This is a very important and different idea. [Each thing contains the principle and the elevation of spirit of “Rationale of things and Material forms are not hindered one another”]. It is to emphasize that “Things” and “Rationale of things” are different, but things can hold their individual identity, can be all over the dimensions without going through the step of “Rationale of things and Material forms are not hindered one another”. Since the worlds of universe of million universes and the dimensions share the same body, when one thing can be all over the dimensions, then this thing can contain all things of the worlds of million universes.

THE elevation of spirit of “Material forms and Material forms are not hindered one another”(IT) cannot be reached by the ordinary people like us. And ITs phenomena is very hard to comprehend or reach directly by the regular wisdom. This is the elevation of spirit of directly proving of religious experiences.

THIRD idea: It is not the same also not the different. The “Rationale of things” and the “Material forms” are not the same, then things can hold their individual identity. The “Material forms” and the “Rationale of things” are not the different, then things can be all over the dimensions.

THE way of philosophizing and the experiences of present reality for the ordinary people like us is always like “Either the same or the different”, not like “Is the same also the different”. When reaching this step, the new elevation of spirit is the level of “No hindrance simultaneous” of “It’s not the same also not the different, it’s the same also the different”.

FOURTH idea: “Not the same” means “All things”, “Not the different” means “Beyond material distinction or material reality”. When breaking “Always is the same” and “Always is the different” of “Persisting in the original nature”, then “Width and narrow” “Big and small” can be not hindered each other.

FIFTH idea: To unite “The relative”. To unite all the “Big”s and “Small”s, “Single”s and “Many”s, and many other relative things in the Perfect and Complete ONE. When reaching this step, wll the dualistic and contradictive things will become the WHOLE ONE that is harmonious, perfect and complete.

SIXTH idea: The “Single”s and the “Many”s can be mutually blent and approached at the same time and are not hindered one another. And because of that, the dimension of “The Perfect” and “The Complete” of “All can enter one”, “One can enter all”, “All contain one”, and “One contain all” become possible.

SEVENTH idea: To make the elevation of spirit of “Completion” and “Perfection” presented at present time. This is the main idea of the “Observation of dimensions”. As a matter of fact, the seventh idea is for those who have enough experience of practicing the “Emptiness”. When having some consummation of practicing the “Emptiness”, then maybe possible to get to the elevation of spirit of “Completion” and “Perfection”.

BEFORE we reach the Wisdom, our main job is to discover how to get into the “Emptiness” from the “Form” or “Being”. After we reach the Wisdom, our main job is to return to the “Form” or “Being” from “Emptiness”.

THE “Rationale of things and Material forms are not hindered one another” and the “Material forms and Material forms are not hindered one another” are all try to explain the phenomena and elevation of spirit of “Emptiness is Form” which is doubly hard to explain and understand.

WHEN we have reached the “Emptiness” of “Perfection” and “Completion”, the next step will be to blend and approach mutually the “Being”(Form) and “Non-being”(Emptiness) with the observations of “Rationale of things and Materials forms are not hindered one another” and “Materials forms and Material forms are not hindered one another”. And this is the elevation of spirit of Buddha that is consummation of enlightenment of perfection and completion.

Hank Fu