Excerpt from “Living Buddha, Living Christ” by Thich Nhat Hanh
The Buddha said that his Dharma body is more important than his physical body. He meant that we have to practice the Dharma in order to make nirvana available here and now. The living Dharma is not a library of scriptures or tapes of inspiring lectures. The living Dharma is mindfulness, manifested in the Buddha’s daily life and in your daily life, also. When I see you walking mindfully, I touch the peace, joy, and deep presence of your being. When you take good care of your brothers and sisters, I recognize the living Dharma in you.
If you are mindful, the Dharmakaya is easy to touch.
The Buddha described the seed of mindfulness that is in each of us as the “womb of the Buddha” (tathagatagarbha). We are all mothers of the Buddha because we are all pregnant with the potential for awakening. If we know how to take care of our baby Buddha by practicing mindfulness in our daily lives, one day the Enlightened One will reveal himself or herself to us.
Buddhists regard the Buddha as a teacher and a brother, not as a god. We are all Dharma brothers and sisters of the Buddha. We also say that Prajñaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) is the mother of all Buddhas.
Historically, in Protestant-ism, the feminine side of God has been minimized and God the Father has been emphasized, but in Catholicism, there is a great deal of devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. In fact, “father” and “mother” are two aspects of the same reality. Father is more expressive of the side of wisdom or understanding, and mother the side of love or compassion.
In Buddhism, understanding (prajña) is essential to love (maitri). Without understanding there cannot be true love, and without love there cannot be true understanding.