The Essence of Dhamma (dhamma-dhatu) could also be viewed as Buddha-nature (Buddha-dhatu) or Buddha element.
Theravada and Mahayana traditions have different takes on this, but I see it as two perspectives on the same reality.
That is that we each have the essence, the nucleus, of becoming a Buddha – an enlightened being.
But what does this mean to be enlightened?
First of all, the word Buddha means “awake” or “awakened one”. Buddha was not a supreme being or God. He was simply a human being like you and I, who woke up!
Each of us goes to sleep at night, and awakens in the morning from our dream state. And in the life, we have an opportunity to awaken from this constant cycle (samsara) of suffering and rebirth.
The most interesting thing about this, is that it can occur at anytime. It does not require years and years of practice and study. In fact, the harder one reaches for this awakening, the longer it will likely take. It’s kind of like rowing upstream.
Seeing the dhamma, your Buddha-nature, is simply being present and removing all delusion and ignorance. This is becoming the flow of nature, apart of the stream (sotāpanna).
The more that we push or pull, grasp or cling to ideas, teachings or goals, the farther I think we get from the acceptance of this reality.
That nature, that essence of awakening lies in being completely present.
While I have certainly not become awakened, or exposed my Buddha-nature, I do see that the only thing preventing this is the self. “I” is the obstacle, and it is by this clinging that truth is obscured.
I am convinced that if I am ever able to let go of the self I will finally be awakened from the dream.
Perhaps it will happen today for you or I, perhaps tomorrow. I think we only need to be open and available for this and let it happen.
For now I simply remain well, happy and peaceful.
May you also be well, happy and peaceful.