Buddhas — and Ordinary People

Ordinary Water Lily

As one particle of dust contains thousands of sutras, so the wisdom of all Buddhas is complete in the bodies of ordinary people who do not realize it.

(Found on the always-provocative blog of David Elpern, Cell2Soul, under his title, Source of all Knowledge)

There is doubt, and there is certainty —

There are ordinary people and there are saints, Buddhas, gurus —

Or are there? Are we, every one of us, capable of extraordinary beauty, and wisdom, and kindness — if only we realized it?

Is that, perhaps, what enlightenment ultimately is — realization of the oneness and infiniteness of everything, including ourselves? Here is an image to suit the thought, taken by photographer Seร n Duggan, which I am titling, The Buddha with Your Face:

This entry was posted in Buddha, Doubt, Enlightenment, Etcetera, Quotes, Wisdom, Wonderings, Zen and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Buddhas — and Ordinary People

  1. You have stated what enlightenment truly is.
    walk in beauty.


  2. DJ Elpern says:

    Thanks for posting this, J. There’s a book called Aidan’s Way about a severely disabled child (written by his father, George Crane) which addresses the point you have made.


  3. Pauline says:

    I like what Bodhidharma says: Not creating delusions is enlightenment.


  4. Stef says:

    “Are we, every one of us, capable of extraordinary beauty, and wisdom, and kindness โ€” if only we realized it?” Yes.


  5. Rebekah says:

    yes, I think we are ๐Ÿ™‚

    You have such a great way with words, J. I wish I could write like this…


    • Touch2Touch says:

      Thank you, Rebekah —
      But in truth, you can — and do — write eloquently indeed.
      You write in your own style, and so it may be “invisible” to you. There’s the charm of a not-quite-native speaker (and it’s charming, believe me), and your enormous honesty, which rings through every word.
      (And who knows what eloquence you are capable of in Swedish!)
      So actually it’s like in the post you’re commenting on — you just don’t realize your own powers!!!!!


  6. Rebekah says:

    Yeah, who knows… ๐Ÿ™‚ — in Swedish, it would be a whole different story! Thank you for your kind words, though … I think my enormous honesty is because most of the time I have nothing else to write about but myself. Because it’s a public blog [and not a personal catharsis], I do hold myself back there though.

    …but as for your post — I most definitely think that we — under the right circumstances — are capable of much greater accomplishments than we’d think in the first place.


  7. CMSmith says:

    Something to think about. Thank you.


  8. Jen Payne says:

    “Are we, every one of us, capable of extraordinary beauty, and wisdom, and kindness โ€” if only we realized it?” I believe we are…ah, but there are so many distractions between here and “realized.” I suspect “enlightenment” needs great expanses of quiet, reflection and disconnection in order to take root and flourish. But how many of us can allow space for that?


    • Touch2Touch says:

      APOLOGY in advance for long-windedness:
      I agree with you, Jen, about the need for long stretches of quiet and disconnection. I know they’re vital for me. But not always, or often, available. So? The route to such “enlightenment” as I’ve attained in my life is actually a different one.

      A lot of the work in realization/enlightenment, in my experience, goes on subterraneously. For a long long time — years sometimes —
      The harrowing, the cultivation, the planting, etc etc — mostly subconscious.
      And then an insight comes suddenly in a flash. A startling flash, that usually brings gratitude in its wake.

      And for the realization to root and flourish?
      I think perhaps rooting and flourishing happens in cherishing the significant flash. Because — (this is odd and I have no idea, never having shared this with anyone, whether the process works the same for other people) —
      the flash itself is efficacious. In other words, the work goes on first (“the problem”) and the realization is itself “the solution.”

      In short —- once my long blindness lifts, SEEING simply follows.

      As always, thanks for your thoughtful comments and for your always-stimulating blog reflections.


    • Stef says:

      I’ve had moments of enlightenment come after long periods of retreat and reflection; but I’ve also had moments of enlightenment come right in the midst of something crazy and frenetic. AND, I’ve had moments of enlightenment come in the truly mundane work of ‘just life’. So while sometimes quiet and calm would be nice (and might help expedite the whole enlightenment process), I don’t think it’s a prerequisite – at least, based on my own experience.

      Just something to kick around… ๐Ÿ™‚


  9. suitablefish says:

    “Are we, every one of us, capable of extraordinary beauty, and wisdom, and kindness โ€” if only we realized it?” – yes!
    If only I rememberโ€ฆโ€ฆ..

    Enlightenment is so often an ‘idea’ that is thought of as far off, too far off, but as the sages say, it’s so simple we miss it. And, there’s no doubt.

    I see the Buddha in you.

    (nice title)


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