19 July 2013

Thousand year old toilets

Not much is going on with me. My eldest son as has been away at University for exactly one month and I have survived his absence. We speak often and he is doing very well.

Summer has been very hot these past few weeks. I have a working AC that I only bring out unless desperately need it and it is close to 90 degrees in my home. So I am very thankful for the AC and not complaining.

Currently I am facility a class for Bright Dawn Center of Oneness Buddhism lay minister course. The class is Mahayana Buddhism. The first class went very well. Second time around and I am picking up more now than when I went through the course myself.

We are in week five of the Compassion Course that I am participating in and is being taught by Thom Bond of .

And on a very personal tip I am currently reading, or shall I say re-reading, DHARMA DRUM: the life and heart of chan practice by Chan Master Sheng Yen.

Chan is the Chinese and original way to say Zen.

Here is a quote from page 199.

"Ignorance and obscurity have accumulated in us, turning our minds into thousand year old toilets. The greed, hatred and ignorance in them are foul. Beginning to cultivate is like opening this toilet and exposing it to the sun and wind. At the start, it is foul, but eventually the smell will naturally disperse. Do not wish for the toilet to be clean at the very beginning."  Chan Master Sheng Yen
Do not wish for the toilet to be clean at the very beginning. This really strikes me.

When we start off on our spiritual path or even when we make a new direction and grow deeper we sometimes my feel a little distressed that we are not where we wish, think or feel that we should be. We look at those around us, those that we may feel are farther along on the path and we may desire to be like them. Seemingly perfect on the outside. Or other's may project their own expectations on to you. But Master Yen tells us not to expect to be perfect and spotless at the start.

For now I am really absorbing this statement, this subtle yet profound request.

What does it really mean for me and my walk?

(c) Tamu Ngina, All Rights Reserved.

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