Although we all have a fundamentally pure nature, it is not easy to get in touch with it. The gross way our mind originally functions drowns out this deeper, more subtle vibration to such an extent that we generally remain unaware of its existence. If we truly want to connect with this subtle essence, we need to quiet all distractions and loosen the hold our ordinary appearances and conceptions have on us.
In the way that a gardener knows how to transform compost into flowers, we can learn the art of transforming anger, depression, and racial discrimination into love and understanding. This is the work of meditation. — Thich Nhat Hanh
A king’s robe or an old blanket can keep you warm.
A gold throne or the bare ground can be your seat.
A grand palace or a mud hut can be your shelter.
A jewelled plate or a wooden pot can hold your food.
The external world does not destroy your inner peace,
But your attachment and aversion will.
Troubled and confused is life in the three worlds
It’s not just the way things are today
Things have always been like this
Because you fail to realize the truth
You spend a lifetime chasing about
Reading the Buddhist scriptures, you become
caught up in names and forms
and never return
Practicing Zen, you become attached to nirvana
and end up being mired there
It reminds me of Master Tung-shan’s apt words:
“The moment you set foot outside the gate
Grasses are sprouting everywhere”