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Sentient Beings

Zen master Dogen once said:
"Those who greatly enlighten illusion are Buddhas; those who are greatly deluded about enlightenment are sentient beings."

All sentient beings possess the six sense bases (ayatana) of eye and visible objects, ear and sound, nose and odor, tongue and taste, body and touch, mind and mental objects.

They include all beings, whether physical beings, spiritual entities, or metaphysical beings, even plant life and insects. These beings include divinities, humans, animals, ghosts, and hell beings.

However, humans and animals are especially respected in the material realm known as the physical world of material existence.

Since divinities, ghost and hell beings have no material existence, their influence on the physical world is limited.

Yet my mind is open to their metaphysical existence when illustrating a Buddhist teaching.

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