The Buddhadharma is subtle, wonderful, and difficult
No words or speech are able to reach it.
It is not combined, nor is it uncombined.
In substance and nature it is still and quiet
and without any marks.
(FAS Ch9 93)
The Buddhadharma is here in the world:
Enlightenment is not apart from the world.
To look for Bodhi apart from the world
Is like looking for a hare with horns.
Buddhists do not call the teachings of the Buddha, which they follow, Buddhism; they call them Buddhadharma, the Dharma of the Buddhas.
“Buddhism is a religion that teaches people to end birth and death, whereas other religions teach people to undergo birth and death. The difference between them is that of being able to ultimately end birth and death as opposed to ultimately not being able to and so undergoing birth and death.” (FAS-PII 128)
“What is the basic, fundamental character of Buddhism. It is simply instruction for people in how to recognize truth, how to eliminate selfishness and establish what is public, how to have a public-spirited, unselfish attitude, not setting up barriers of nations and lands, races or clans, and how not to make distinctions of self and others.
All under heaven is one family,
And the ten thousand Buddhas are a single person.”
“Buddhism is the teaching within the minds of all living beings. And so Buddhism can be called the Buddha’s teaching or it can be called no teaching at all. Buddhism simply records what practices the Buddha engaged in to become enlightened. The Buddha didn’t have the idea that he wanted to establish a religion. He is fundamentally one with all living beings. If he had wanted to establish a “Buddhism”, wouldn’t that have been setting himself apart from living beings? The Buddha said that the mind, the Buddha, and living beings are one, and undifferentiated. If he had professed to be teaching a “Buddhism”, then there would be what is non-Buddhism, and so it would be separate from other religions. However, Buddhism includes everything. Every religion is in Buddhism-Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, and all the others. Why? The Buddha said,
‘All living beings have the Buddha-nature; all can become Buddhas.’
“No matter what religion you are, aren’t you a living being? Even if you protest that you are a heavenly spirit, heavenly lord, or a heavenly demon, that still counts as being a living being. And so I say whether you are Buddhist or not, I count you as being within Buddhism.” (VBS)
1) Ch. fo jiao , fo fa , 2) Skt. buddhadharma, 3) Pali buddhadhamma, 4) Alternate Translations: the law/methods of the fully awakened ones.
BTTS References: FAS Ch9 93; “The Kennedys Request a Lecture”, VBS, May 1970, 30-38; FAS-PII 129; PS 121.