Matter itself is voidness. Voidness itself is matter" (quoted in Thurman, Introduction to Holy Teaching 1).
In expounding nonduality, and other concepts, Vimalakirti relied largely on the explication of dichotomies (an alternate title for the sutra is "Reconciliation of Dichotomies"). This method reflects the Mahayana approach in which the dichotomies are related to "the actual practice of the hearers, forcing them to integrate them in their minds and actions" and, thereby, allowing them to be "liberated inconceivably, while being totally engaged in the work of helping other living beings" (Holy Teaching 6).
In the sutra Vimalakirti is suffering from a bodhisattva's existential illness and the Buddha Sakyamuni wants to send someone to inquire about him. But none of the bodhisattvas wants to go because his skill and logical force in argumentation disconcerts them. When Prince Manjusri agrees to go a large crowd follows, eager to hear their conversation. They discuss a number of topics but the climactic discussion centers on Vimalakirti's request that his visitors explain "how the bodhisattvas enter the Dharma-door of nonduality" (73). As the various bodhisattvas try to answer the question they do so by attempting to resolve various dichotomies. One, for instance, addresses grasping and nongrasp