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Sweeping Leaves

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  • NamoAmituofo
    TheDailyEnlightenment.comWeekly 03/01/03 See http://asp.TheDailyEnlightenment.com/23.htm for web version of this issue. See
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2003
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      TheDailyEnlightenment.comWeekly 03/01/03

      See http://asp.TheDailyEnlightenment.com/23.htm for web version of this issue.
      See 
      http://asp.thedailyenlightenment.com/TdeCn24w.htm for Chinese version.
      See
      http://asp.TheDailyEnlightenment.com/22.htm for previous issue.
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      Quote: Self-Liberation

      The goal is liberation- not of the self; but from the self. -Anon

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      Link: Reading Too Much Meaning : Does Everything Mean Something?
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      Realization:
      Sweeping Leaves

      Some of us were sweeping the temple yard in the morning where there is a Bodhi tree. It took quite some effort as some of the leaves were stuck to the wet cement ground. Anyway, the wind just blew by this afternoon and rustled the tree... And there we have it, leaves for our morning chore tomorrow. Here's my much rendered version of a Zen story inspired by the above-

      Disciple: Why do we keep sweeping the leaves?
      Master: Because they keep falling.

      Disciple: Why don't we chop the tree instead?
      Master: Why don't you chop your impatience and laziness instead?

      Disciple: But it's really a waste of time and effort!
      Master: See your impatience and laziness rising now? Sweeping the leaves is thus not so simple- it is sweeping away your impatience and laziness.

      Disciple: But... it's such a mundane repetitive task.
      Master: Mundane tasks can be done mundanely. Spiritual practice is doing mundane tasks spiritually. Isn't it an exercise for training patience, effort, mindfulness... Do not separate your tasks into the mundane and spiritual. Enlightenment can be attained while doing any task. How well we take up and handle the mundane is the measure of how far we have transcended them while perfecting them. Be thankful there are enough so-called mundane tasks for you to actively practise and measure your spirituality!


      - ston@... | http://stonepeace.blogspot.com 

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      Excerpt:
      Advice to a Lay-follower

      A rich man said to the Buddha, "I see you are the Awakened One and I would like to open my mind to you and ask your advice. My life is full of work, and having made a great deal of money, I am surrounded by cares. I employ many people who depend on me to be successful. However, I enjoy my work and like working hard. But having heard your followers talk of the bliss of a hermit's life and seeing you as one who gave up a kingdom in order to become a homeless one and find the truth, I wonder if I should do the same. I long to do what is right and to be a blessing to my people. Should I give up everything to find the truth?"

      The Buddha replied, "The bliss of the truth-seeking life is attainable for anyone who follows the path of unselfishness. If you cling to your wealth, it is better to throw it away than let it poison your heart. But if you don't cling to it but use it wisely, then you will be a blessing to people. It's not wealth and power that enslave men but the clinging to wealth and power.

      "My teaching does not require anyone to become homeless or resign the world unless he wants to, but it does require everyone to free himself from the illusion that he is a permanent self and to act with integrity while giving up his craving for pleasure.

      "And whatever people do, whether in the world or as a recluse, let them put their whole heart into it. Let them be committed and energetic, and if they have to struggle, let them do it without envy or hatred. Let them live not a life of self but a life of truth, and in that way bliss will enter their hearts." (Majjhima Nikaya)


      -The Buddha Speaks: A Book of Guidance from the Buddhist Scriptures (Edited Anne Bancroft)
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