Fo Xing: Buddha Nature
Fo Xing 佛性, Buddha-nature (Classical Chinese: 佛性, modern pinyin fó xìng) literally corresponds to the Sanskrit Buddha-dhātu – “Buddha Element”, “Buddha-Principle” the Chinese term translated as Buddha Nature refers to the potential within a sentient being to awaken into enlightenment and become a Buddha. This potential exists within everyone, it is not a question of if you will ever attain Buddhahood; it is a question of when.
Despite its Buddhist origin, this term can be freely used by Tao cultivators, because it’s meaning is universal. For instance, if a spiritually advanced Christian priest becomes truly enlightened, then the title ‘Buddha’ fits him even if he does not know anything about Buddhism. Words are but labels, we must always remember to look beyond the label for the meaning it represents.
You may not think of yourself as a candidate for Buddhahood, but the Buddha Nature is in you, too. It lives in your heart regardless of your background, your education, intelligence, compassion or any other attributes, and one day it will manifest its full expression as you awaken to greater reality.
The presence of the Buddha Nature in everyone is the reason why Tao cultivators would never discriminate against anyone based upon ethnicity, background or any other superficial distinctions. As the sixth patriarch Hui Neng one said ‘People may be differentiated into northerners or southerners, but there is no differentiation in the Buddha Nature’. It is one and the same for all of humanity. It is the Tao in all of us.
Namaste with love