Tathata, which means “suchness” or “like-this-ness,” is used in Buddhism to mean “reality,” or the way things really are. This poem by Dongshan (807-869) reminds us to work with things as they are in our lives, rather than our thoughts as to how our life should be.
The teaching of thusness has been intimately communicated by buddhas and ancestors.
Now you have it, so keep it well.
Filling a silver bowl with snow,
hiding a heron in the moonlight —
Taken as similar they’re not the same;
when you mix them, you know where they are.