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At Home in Your Dharma Body — Part 3

Vultures peak (Gridhakuta) photo by juggadery

The expression “Dharma body” was already being used during the time of the Buddha. When the monk Vaikhali was sick, the Buddha went to visit him at the house of a potter. Vaikhali loved and admired the Buddha very much. In the beginning of his practice as a monk, he spent hours and hours sitting near the Buddha, just contemplating the physical body of the Buddha. Vaikhali tried to go beyond the physical body of the Buddha and touch the Dharma body of the Buddha. He was dying and the Buddha asked, “Vaikhali, how do you feel in your body?” Vaikhali said, “Lord, I suffer so much. The pain in my body is increasing.” The Buddha said, “Vaikhali, do you have peace in yourself? Do you have any regrets?” Vaikhali said, “No, Lord. I don’t have any regrets concerning my practice. I have peace in me. But there is only a little regret in me that because I am sick, I can no longer visit you on the Gridhakuta Mountain anymore.” The Buddha said, “Come on, Vaikhali, this physical body is not the most important thing. If you have touched the Dharma, if you live every minute with the Dharma, then my body is always with you.” 

Thich Nhat Hanh
from Going Home; Jesus and Buddha as Brothers

To be continued . . .