The Practice Of The Three Mysteries
The symbolic activities of Body, Speech, and Mind (the Three Mysteries or Three Secrets) are present everywhere in the universe. Natural phenomena such as mountains and oceans and even humans express the truth described in the sutras. The universe itself embodies and can not be seperated from the teachings. In his work, "Attaining Buddhahood in This Body," Kobo Daishi said,
recite mantras with your mouths,
and dwell in meditation with your minds."
The Secret of the Body: Esoteric mudra
Hand gestures called mudras express the form of the secret activity of the body. These mudras symbolically identify the practioner with the universe. The human body functions as symbolic of the larger universe. In the "Discourse or Visualization of Truth by Mindful Recitation," Kobo Daishi wrote:
they exist within my body.
If I myself am also the Dharma Realm,
then I exist within the Buddhas."
The Three Secrets practice of speech expresses the secret activity speech through mantras and dharanî. Mantras and dharanis are formulas of invocation. Kobo Daishi wrote in "The True Meaning of the Voiced Syllable,"
The Secret of Mind: Internal Visualization
The secret activity of the mind is expressed in the internal visualization of the Buddhas and other daities, mantric symbols and other symbolic forms. The activity of mind permeated throughout all beings and all phenomenon.
Kobo Daishi wrote about this in "The Meaning of the Hum Syllable:"
There is nothing through which they do not act."
©1998,1999 Shingon Buddhist International Institute