Student: Master, it seems that most of the Buddha statues that we see in temples are standing posture. We seldom see reclining statues. Is there a particular reason behind it?
Master Hsin Tao: The most important realization in Dharma practice is “unarising”. In other words, unarising is nirvana and vice versa. Since there is no arising (or generation) in the beginning, there is no cessation (or extinguishing). One important learning in our course of Dharma practice is to let our minds be in calm-abiding. The perfection of calm-abiding is one determinant for nirvana.
Let our mind abide in a state free from happenings. This is the origin and significance behind the reclining posture of Budda. It is the original face and the realization of the Buddha. It is the primordial ground or nirvana. Such a state is also called, "Dharmakaya". Then, the realization of nirvana could manifest in a multitude of Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya. The fundamental way of living in the state of nirvana, unarising, or original face. Before we became deluded, all the sentient beings are in the state of an unarising mind, an unarising face, and an unarising intention. As we are obscured by ignorance, all kinds of afflictions, obstacles, arising, and ceasing are therefore generated.
To recognize and understand our own original face, notionless is the only way. By realizing notionlessness, one could see the space-like nature and origin. Space has no arising nor ceasing. The original face has no arising nor ceasing. Phenomena come into appearance by conditions. They also vanish into space as the cause and effect exhaust. In the constant coming and going of arising and ceasing, the essence never changes. Like the waves of the ocean, they change into high or low tides. Yet, water is still water. All the conditions, phenomena, and appearances that we perceive are like the waves. No matter how they change, they are always part of the space or a display of the space. Hence, space is our original face. All the changes that we experience are the waves of the ocean.