My understanding is superficial.
Conceptually, I know that all things
And beings are empty and without self,
That samsara and nirvana are of one taste,
That apparent suffering is actual bliss —
I’ve even experienced suchness.
Because of my obscurations,
When I’m threatened with death, I fear;
When hungry, I hope for food;
When thirsty, I want to drink;
When someone strikes me, I get angry;
Violence toward me makes me despondent;
The chance of losing an arm or an eye scares me;
When left standing hungry in the heat I complain;
Being packed in shoulder to shoulder infuriates me;
Even the threat of being shot makes me nervous;
I will fight you if you try to cut my throat;
When I’m hit on the head with a hammer, I cry.
O, how I aspire to be like you,
To have realized emptiness
With such intensity and depth
That to give a finger to a starving badger
on any day without warning would please me,
To be brutally slaughtered for a fat rich man’s exotic meal
Would only make me happy to have given pleasure,
To be eaten alive by ants only bring me
a more profound realization of emptiness.
Oh, you Buddhist, so far along the path
That you’ve realized
Your own inseparability from emptiness,
That your own pain is without essence,
That your own suffering is an illusion,
That your imputed self is a mirage,
You, who realize this so deeply
That you even experience
This emptiness in the minds of other beings,
The bliss that they think is their pain,
So that you can see them killed and eat them
Without the slightest perturbation of regret.
Oh, how deeply I aspire to be
As enlightened as you are,
To have stepped past the 10th Bhumi,
To experience continuously
The equality of samsara and nirvana.
(Such are my thoughts when told by Buddhist friends that it’s ok to eat animals because everything is empty. Please don’t take offense at my play.)