While reading The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh about mindfulness, I came upon this paragraph:

the Buddha taught the meditation on the Two Realms — the realm of the conditioned (samskrita) and the realm of the unconditioned (asamskrita). In the conditioned realm, there is birth, death, before, after, inner, outer, small, and large. In the world of the unconditioned, we are no longer subject to birth and death, coming or going, before or after. The conditioned realm belongs to the historical dimension. It is the wave. The unconditioned realm belongs to the ultimate dimension. It is the water. These two realms are not separate.

What it means, "The conditioned realm belongs to the historical dimension" and "The unconditioned realm belongs to the ultimate dimension", and also "How they are not separated?"


1 Answer 1


Unconditioned is nirvana (IIRC space is not unconditioned in zen), liberation from samsara, the cycle of rebirth/becoming and so suffering, Buddha. Conditioned is historical in so far as it is composed of all sentient beings. They are not separated becasue the Buddha responds to all sentient beings, who all have Buddha nature.

Standard Mahayana doctrine except for 'historical'.


for me, space is a conditioned dharma

Hanh, Thich Nhat (Understanding Our Mind)

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