“Right view is no view,
do not submit to figments;
neither cling to views.

Neither attach to
the purified and bright-view.
– no view is right view!

Attach to nothing.
free your mind from everything;
– neither follow views!

Let others have them;
This Sublime Holy Path will
– end all suffering!

Right view will end
doubt, hatred, and delusion;
– this the Buddhas way!

Mind rest on nothing,
not clinging to any view;
– enlightenment here!”


By Bup Sahn Sunim

EXPLAINATION
The aim of Buddhism is to see things as they really are (yathâbhûtam). However, Buddhism cannot help you find the answers, and Buddhism does not teach Truth. As Master Dae Kwang put it:

“When the Buddha left home he didn’t go to a library to try and find the answer to his great question. Instead, he started looking inside himself to find the answer. We are the same. Just like the Buddha, no outside source, even Zen teaching, can’t give us the answer.”

Master Seongcheol explained why there were so many Buddhist teachings and why despite them pointing at the one truth they could not be considered Truth themselves
“There is an old saying that you have to regard the Buddha and all the Zen predecessors as enemies before you can begin to study….To become enlightened, and thus free-flowing, you must transcend the Buddha and you must transcend the records of the masters. If you feel that you have to listen to this person talk or that person talk, or if you get tied up in this expedient or that expedient, you will continue to do nothing but fail in your quest and you will not live eternally. To come to know genuine Truth, rather than just knowing about it, we must rid ourselves of all expedient…We have to look beyond the finger to see the moon.

The Buddha spoke to meet the needs of the occasion and to meet the needs of whoever he was addressing. He spoke like a child to children, like a student to students, to commoners like a commoner, to royalty like royalty so that whoever was listening would understand him. Consequently, we have the 84,000 Dharma Teachings to meet the needs of so many kinds of people. So these are not the real Truth, but expedients for coming to an understanding of the One Truth. “

So strongly enough ‘right-view’ (samma-dithi) is not the opposite of ‘wrong-view’ (miccha¯-ditth). One does not replace ‘wrong-view’ with ‘right-view’ as Buddha was not talking about propositional logic or facts. Neither is ‘right-view’ about having ‘no-views’ and it is certainly a lot different from not-knowing (ie, ignorance).

So what then does it mean to ‘see things as they really are?’ It is, in a nutshell not clinging to any views. As the Buddha put it:

“When one see this thus as it really is (yathâbhûtam)with correct wisdom (prajñâ), the mind (citta) becomes dispassionate and is liberated from the taints (âsrava) by nonclinging” (S. iii. 45).

When Buddha outlined the 62 wrong views he did not offer a 63rd that was then correct view. Correct view is’no-views’ or rather a state of mind where one overcomes all views by ‘non-clinging’ and ‘non-attachment’ to them. 

The state of mind of complete ‘non-clinging’ and’ equanimity’ is to ‘see things as they really are?’ 

NOT ALL ‘RIGHT-VIEWS’ ARE THE SAME

Every Buddhist knows about ‘right-view’ as it is contained in the Four Truths and Eightfold Path. However, what is less emphised, if at all is that ‘right-view’ occurs in stages and all stages are not the same.

In other words all ‘right-views’ are not the same. For example, ditthi-sampanna (Mundane-right-view) is used to describe a ‘right-view’ of stream-attainment. In the Anguttara-nikaya it explains that at this low level of’right-view’ one has abandoned identity (sakkaya-ditthi), doubt (vicikiccha), clinging to vows and precepts (silabbata-paramasa), greed (raga), hatred (dosa) and delusion (moha) A III 438.

It is said repeatedly that one should not be attached to the ‘purified and bright-view’ (ditthi parisuddha pariyodata) as that is just a form of craving (Ps II 109) and ‘supermundane-right-view’ (lokuttara-samma-ditthi) represents that which is ‘neither defiled nor defiling'(dhamma asankilittha-asankilesika). In other words, knowledge of the dharma that is associated with ‘supermundane-right-view’ is completely free from craving and attachment of any kind. 

As the Buddha said (sn480): 

“One who has knowledge (vedagu) does not become proud because of view or thought … He cannot be influenced by action or thought … He cannot be influenced by an action of learning: he is not led into cling to views.”

Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting for a second that Buddhists should not have views, but one should not be attached to them at all which is what Buddhism calls an advanced ‘right-view’. It’s an important but subtle difference.

For example, the Buddha says in the Mahaviyuha-sutra:

“[do] not submit to figments. __ Do not follow views andhave no association with knowledge and knowingcommon-place opinions. Rather be indifferent to them (saying) ‘Let others take them up”.

The Buddha’s teachings are a path to be walked with a destination in mind. One starts cultivating ‘right-views’from the start taking baby steps and ultimately the cessation of stress is the end of clinging. The whole path is the end of clinging, aversion and ignorance. 

The danger is, that one gets attached to ‘right-views’ or emptiness when it’s not about conceptual thinking at all, but rather going beyond and transcending that. It is so easy to think about ‘right-views’ on an abstract level but giving up clinging is bloody difficult. 

Granted it’s difficult, but if it wasn’t we’d all be enlightened already.?