Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Great Way is not difficult / have no preferences!

So says the Hsin Hsin Ming, a great Buddhist teaching. And, of course, having no preferences, like not hating or loving garlic, is far from NOT difficult.

The head teacher painted the fireplace, changing its color. On another day he started to paint a wall, didn't like the color, and went to buy another color. Have no preferences? What is that about? When he comes to the alter, he adjusts the paraphernalia to 1/16 of an inch. No preferences?

What it may be about is not attaching oneself to preferences. Hating or loving garlic may be fine, but how do we do when we don't have what we want, or we have what we don't want... and instant change is not possible. That, for me, is the challenge here. I want it to be sunny tomorrow at 8 am. Most who are going to take a walk then would concur. But suppose the weatherman is right and it is drizzling? Is that OK? Will it ruin my day. Will I celebrate the plants who get to drink plentifully?

I wanted to write about the silliness of pets. But everyone loves pets, and (some think) that people who don't like pets are as bad as Republicans. That's what they say. So I'm going to leave that alone, until a future date... like tomorrow. I won't mention a word about how walking behind a dog with a little plastic bag and picking up their poop is not my idea of fun.

Tonight we talked about not possessing things. Some sects of monks give up everything but a robe, a bowl, and a needle. Others have much more. I thought about "HAVING a wife and kids" and how I've had to struggle with the idea that they are not MINE (certainly brought to light today with the possibility that our marriage license, from a Peoria "justice of the peace," was not an official document). In any case, possession occurs in the head... or maybe, sometimes, in the court. Which takes us back to pets. What gives us the right to own these creatures, and to have them answer to our every beck and call? Anyone out there have an answer?


sheila said...

Excellent, Kim!--attachment to preferences! But doesn't it say something about not making the finest hair of distinction?. . .
I chuckle about pets and laugh out loud about the marriage license!

Anonymous said...

"What gives us the right to own these creatures, and to have them answer to our every beck and call?"

Kim, Its pretty obvious you have had dog pets, they tend to be slavish by their nature. Try a cat, They are much more rebellious and given to having their way. H

Who's in the world?

Xiushan said, "What can you do about the world?" Dizang said, "What do you call the world?"