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Wash yr bowl

January 20, 2015

Legendarily, when an earnest novice asked the teacher something like What is truth? or How can I gain enlightenment? the teacher would tell the pupil to “wash your rice bowl” or “go sweep the walk.”  Puzzling, but the suggestion is that truth and enlightenment are present always and everywhere, in the simplest realities—i.e. they are reality, reality is they.  No big deal.  Simply be.  Be present (“mindlessly” present, like when hoeing around plants in the sunshine) in your present being, and you are reality.

Let’s don’t be distracted by big diversionary activities such as gaining enlightenment or getting rich and richer.  Those distractions are impoverishments, activated by an unhealthy ego, motivated by fear, blocking compassion.  At their best, they signal that we want to care; at their worst, they show that we don’t.

Listen to St. Francis.  Go feed the birds.

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