From the Buddhist perspective, the universe is an infinite display of Buddha Nature.
Buddha Nature is the mysterious divine Nature that arises out of its own Emptiness to express itself as embodying everyone and everything.
Imagine all that exists is an island of pure gold. Everyone and everything is pure gold. We can shape the gold in infinite forms, but each formation is identical in substance. Consider that pure gold to be Buddha Nature.
Each person is a formative field of Buddha Nature.
Buddha Nature has three qualities as: it’s empty nature, it’s knowing clarity, and it’s energetic formations.
The Buddha Nature can contract and expand.
We also have a more subtle energetic body within. It has its own organs that are much more subtle than the physical organs. We call these subtle organs “chakras” and we call them organs because they each have unique functions.
For our purposes here, I will only discuss the crown chakra and the heart chakra. Some mistakenly think that the crown and the heart are separate from each other, but they aren’t.
The heart is the depth of the crown and the crown is the height of the heart. The central channel which contains them both, is their inseparable unity.
When a child is born, it’s chakras are expansive and clear. Life events can cause the heart to contract. When this happens the Buddha Nature feels disconnected and apart from the whole field of boundless Buddha Nature. That contracted sense of separateness is the core of the illusion of being a separate self.
When that contraction or “knot” in the heart releases, the sense of individual selfhood vanishes, like magic, along with all its stories and problems. The owner and experiencer of samsara has suddenly vanished.
The “suffering self” is the illusion of being a separate self produced by the contracting of the Buddha Nature within and as the heart.
The initial and later contractions are caused by the mind’s fictional beliefs about the true nature of experience.
The mind divides an open field of Buddha Nature into isolated parts, which only further reinforces the heart’s contraction and it’s “feeling” separate and alone. The self is felt as a contracted “me” and everyone and everything is felt as “other”.
In this way the mind and heart become locked in a dwindling spiral of frustration and isolation. That’s the real nature of samsara.
The most direct cure would be to recognize the empty and pure nature of the Buddha Nature itself, as both mind and heart are always only this pure and untainted gold whether contracted or not.
The true nature of the heart is absent of a self-center as “me”. It’s feeling tone is unconditional love and joy. It’s energetic expression is kindness, compassion and the curious quality of seeing everyone and everything as itself.
by Jackson Peterson author of The Natural Bliss of Being