Of his owners shouts
Down the path
A poodle strolls-
Prettier then its owner
“Why the leash”
Says the Black Lab
In the west, a common practice in Modern Buddhism and psychology is the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness has many benefits when we first begin our practice of the Dharma, it acts as a kind of lens which allows us to reach a certain level of awareness; awareness to our thoughts and our environment, our various joys and sufferings, as they come to pass in our mind. This awareness, is good for us deluded beings, for when we behave or act in a mindful way, we become aware the root of all our different delusions and desires.
We may become mindful of a certain fondness or a certain dislike towards something, however when one says “oh here, is such and such a desire for such and such a thing, but it is only mind” this is being truly mindful. understanding our affinities for particular desires and why they come to be is the real mindfulness we must practice, and when one can do this, they can begin to detach themselves from their own ego.
From this level of mindfulness, what must be urged to go along with it, is a firm and unshakable faith in Amitabha Buddha, his compassion which extends to all beings, and his Pure Land which is reachable by even the most deluded. this firm unshakable faith in the Other Power, Amitabha’s vows, is what ultimately destroys our ego. Our goal in this Dharma-Ending Age, is to strive to be like Bodhisattvas under Amitabha’s teaching. we must forget about our self, our ego and its attachment to this world of suffering, in order to help all beings simultaneously, find liberation. By developing a firm and unshakable faith in the Primal Vows of Amitabha, and chanting the Nembutsu, not for our own rebirth, but for the rebirth of all deluded beings, one is able to reach a level of mindfulness where the ego is eliminated and one can truly understand Emptiness.
Thought after thought, feeling after feeling
Rise and fall like waves against the ship
Traveling to the other shore
The peculiar and the common in this world of suffering
Our mind, so full of self
Begins to melt its prior ego
In the brightness of Amitabha’s rays;
Knowing all beings have their place
Within his Pure Land in the West
Self becomes other, other becomes empty;
A newborn Bodisattva blooms
From a lotus in a sea of Emptiness
To make offerings to all beings
Prior to recieving the robes of Bodhidharma, Huineng cooked the temple rice and stoked the fire.
Pickup or Shih-te would take a moment from cutting root vegtables to scribble out a poem or two within the kitchen of Kuiching Temple
Kerry Thornley took up his dishwashers apron in the small kitchen of America, declaring himself a Zen Dishwasher, and soaking empty bowls full of flax seed.
Jack Kerouac, he just did his own dishes and those of every desolate angel, that burning drunk bodhisattva.