Greetings Dear Ones,
I just read an article in Tricycle entitled ‘Death is not an emergency’
It got me to thinking about the sense of urgency I see around me these days. Everything must be done right now! What is the rush!?
People running here and there. In a hurry to control and rearrange samsara. “I gotta cut the grass, I gotta weed-wack this area, I gotta weed the garden, I gotta water the garden, the paths need to be sweept, gotta make breakfast, lunch, dinner!” All right NOW!!
As soon as the last spoonful of food is shoveled in the mouth, people are jumping up from the table ready to clean off the food table, wash dishes and put away the leftovers.
I asked someone today “why are you doing so much?” They answered, ” it’s better if I keep busy!” And ran off to rearrange their little corner of samsara.
All the while, claiming they can’t control the monkey mind.
I thought… ‘better’ ?, Better than what? What would happen if we are not always busy? Just what would happen if we just stop. Just sit. Just breathe. Just wait. Can the leaves stay where they are for one hour? Can the grass grow for just one hour more? Will the plants die without water for the next hour?
One thing I don’t see is people rushing to sit in the Dharma hall.
Of course when there is a Dharma talk and people are gathering. I hear a lot of. “Are you going to the Dharma talk?, Did you go to the Dharma talk?, I didn’t see you at the Dharma talk!, Oh, I always go to the Dharma talk!”
But what about when there is no one to empress, no one to see you at the Dharma talk, no “big important Lama” to bow to in front of others? Why aren’t people rushing to the Dharma hall then? Why is it that people don’t feel like they are being productive when they are just simply sitting. Watching the breath. Being with the mind?
Last night someone ask if they could join me for Tara practice in the morning. When morning came, they met me and said they weren’t going to come. They needed to go (right now!) To get some bug spray to kill some insect that’s been bugging them, (pun intended).
Interesting; ….I rather go to get some chemical to kill a sentient being, ( because I am so frustrated, and just can’t stand it a minute longer!) than sit with my own mind (as we Buddhist are known to do, once in a while) and try to develop compassion, patience and love.
I said,”ah, don’t worry, it won’t take long! You can go after.” So we did Tara practice and they went after. Well at least they purified a bit before they went off to kill bugs!
Rush. Rush. Rush. Busy. Busy. Busy. If only we could rush to the Dharma hall. Rush to settle the mind. Rush to sit with and be mindful of the breath. The present moment. Rush to praise the Triple Gem.
Death may not be the emergency, but death will surely come. Where will your mind be when death comes?
That. Is the emergency.
Hurry! Your hair is on fire!