HEART OF BUDDHISM
By Buddhadasa Bhikkhu
The heart of Buddhism, as this expression is understood in Dhamma language, as the Buddha has put it, is the realization that nothing whatsoever should be grasped at and clung to.
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya."Nothing whatever should be grasped at and clung to as "me" or "mine" This is the heart of Buddhism as understood in Dhamma language, the language of the Buddha. So anyone who is after the heart of Buddhism should be very careful not to get just the "heart" of everyday language, the language of people ignorant of Dhamma. That sort of "heart" is likely to be something ridiculous, laughable, and childish.
What I have said so far ought to be sufficient to enable you to realize how a single word may have two different meanings. An intelligent and discerning person will be capable of considering both modes of speaking. " A wise person is one who is careful to consider both modes of speaking." "Both modes of speaking" means both of the possible meanings of a word. One is the meaning the word has in everyday language; the other is the meaning that same word has in Dhamma language. A discerning person must consider both meanings, as we have done in the numerous examples dealt with above. The words we have considered so far as examples are rather high-level terms. Let us now consider some more down-to-earth examples. I apologize if some of these appear a little crude.