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Lions Roar : March 2006
98 SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2006 Thich Nhat Hanh continued from page 57 impermanence. When you have realized the truth, you abandon not only the view of permanence, but you also abandon the view of impermanence. It's like when you strike a match: the fire that is produced by the match will consume the match. When you practice looking deeply and you find the insight of impermanence, then the in- sight of permanence will burn away that notion of impermanence. That is what is very wonderful about the teaching of nonattachment to view. Non-self can be a view, impermanence might be a view, and if you are caught in a view, you are not really free. The ultimate has no view. That is why nirvana is the extinction of all views, because views can bring unhappiness-even the views of nirvana, impermanence, and no-self-if we fight each other over these views. I very much like the way you describe what other Buddhist traditions call relative and absolute truth. You describe these as the historical and ultimate dimensions. Much of your teaching focuses on the relative or historical dimension, or on the principle of interdependence, which you call interbeing. Is that a complete or final description of re- ality, or is there a truth beyond the insight that nothing exists independently and all things are interrelated? There are two approaches in Buddhism: the phenomenal approach and the true nature approach. In the school of Madhya - maka, in the school of Zen, they help you to strike directly into your true nature. In the school of Abhidharma, Mind-Only, they help you to see the phenomena, and if you touch the phenomena deeper and deeper, you touch the ultimate. The ulti- mate is not something separated from the phenomena. If you touch the ultimate, you touch also the phenomena. And if you touch deeply the phenomena, you touch also the ultimate. It is like a wave. You can see the begin- ning and the end of a wave. Coming up, it goes down. The wave can be smaller or bigger, or higher or lower. But a wave is