essential nature of phenomena ［法性］ ( dharmatā; hosshō): Also, Dharma nature. The unchanging nature inherent in all things and phenomena. It is a concept equal to the “true aspect” ( jissō) of all phenomena, or “the true aspect of reality” (shinnyo). In Buddhism, the term dharma means both phenomena and the truth underlying them. A Buddha is defined as one who is enlightened to the essential nature of phenomena, and an ordinary person as one who is ignorant of this nature. Hence both enlightenment and ignorance, or darkness, originate from one source, the essential nature of phenomena.