Buddhism talks about the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. They call this the Triple Gem. It is the perfect unity, that appears in three forms. Reality often is viewed in a way that could be divided into three “parts.” Buddha literally means “The Awoken One.” It cannot be said that Buddha is a person. The historical Buddha himself is recorded as having emphasized this, beyond the further Mahayana writings that make this abundantly clear. Buddha is the great unity. It could be called Buddha Nature. When you speak of “The Buddha” it is referring to the One who has awoken. “He” can be found anywhere in existence. You can either find him, or you can BE HIM. He could be looked at as the great teacher. When you yourself are in touch with “Buddha Nature” you are literally being The Buddha. Yet Buddha Nature never departs from reality, so when you are, for instance, learning from another, or reality itself, this is The Buddha reminding you of the truth.

“The truth” is what is called “The Dharma.” Although the Dharma is often expressed in words, it cannot be said to be the words themselves. It is the truth about reality itself. Therefore, it can be found anywhere in reality. When one speaks the truth, he is speaking Dharma. When you hear Dharma, think Dharma, or speak Dharma, this is the teaching of The Buddha; this is true regardless of whether you’re “being The Buddha” or interacting with The Buddha

Those who are seeking the Dharma/Truth are the Sangha. When you are in communion with another of like mind, he is of the Sangha. You could look at the Sangha as those who are working together to try to end suffering. Suffering is attachment. We seek a universal end of suffering, which is to say universal enlightenment. When we see one who is suffering, and recognize him as a fellow traveler of the Journey towards the end of suffering, we help to unhook him from his attachments, as we seek to do for ourselves. The interacting of the Sangha/Community, Dharma/Truth, and Buddha/Awoken One all come together as the great ONE, the unity of all of existence.

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