For readers of Mahayana sutra, the phrase Three–Thousand Large Thousandfold World (三千大千世界), should not be foreign. Many people interpret this as referring to a huge galaxy with many world system.
However, there is another interpretation that we may not we aware of. In this interpretation, we have to be reminded of a Buddhist teaching that says “the world (phenomenon) is created by our mind.”
The world that is being mentioned here, refers to our experience of existence. To put it simply, if we are feeling down and depressed, our world becomes cold,uninviting, bleak and dark.
On the other hand, if we are feeling exhilarated, our world becomes warm and friendly, colorful and bright. Although it is the same street and same neighborhood, but they seems so different according to our state of mind.
Take another example, if we are constantly being suspicious of other people. Imagining that everyone around us has an agenda or an ulterior motive. Then we feel as if we are being surrounded by scheming people. Isn’t that a torture?
In short, our mental condition influence and shape our experience of the world. For people who meditate, they are familiar with the flux happening in their mind. On top of our emotion, we also have delusive thoughts.
Sometimes we re-live our past. We think about our childhood, we think about of schools. When we are lost in such re-collections, we seemed to be transported into another world. A world that is created by our memories.
Sometimes we fantasize about the future. Again we are transported into another world.
These are the three-thousands large world systems!
The distance between Buddha land and us, is separated by these worlds….
When we cease our discursive thinking, we will find Buddha land within ourselves.
There was a very interesting talk given by a famous Rinpoche in Singapore. He was invited to talk about the Pure land of Amitabha Buddha in a Tibetan Buddhist temple. In that talk, he skillfully transported his audience to many distant foreign land!
Consequently, a lady in the audience became frustrated and accosted him for bringing up nonsensical topic that seems irrelevant to the sutra. Rinpoche seemed to fumble for an answer and this created more “tension”
A moment ago, we believed a reincarnated lama was teaching on the Dharma throne and as our patience wear thin, we doubted his knowledge. A fake or foolish teacher?
For me, I was fortunate to listen to that audio recording twice. The 1st time I heard that audio teachings, I felt like that angry woman. Perhaps because I wasn’t listening with the right attitude. (I confess)
The 2nd time, I hear the same teaching but with the right attitude, I was smiling with tears in my eyes at the end of the talk.
Thank you Rinpoche, for the valuable lesson! May those who didn’t catch it, have the wisdom to decipher the secret next time.
Forgive me if I have divulged too much.
P.S There is really benefit in re-reading Dharma books and re-listening to Dharma talks. We may learn something new each time.
May all be well and happy.