Sunday, March 09, 2008

Daily Dharma: The Dharma of Emptying Spittoons

Today's Daily Dharma from Tricycle is a gentle reminder that the real dharma lessons in our lives come from everyday opportunities for practice. Dharma is not learned on the cushion or from books; it's learned in how we relate the world and the people in our lives.

The Dharma of Emptying Spittoons

The Dharma of the Buddha is not found in books. If you want to really see for yourself what the Buddha was talking about you don't need to bother with books. Watch your own mind. Examine to see how feelings come and go, how thoughts come and go. Don't be attached to anything, just be mindful of whatever there is to see. This is the way to the truths of the Buddha. Be natural. Everything you do in your life is a chance to practice. It is all Dharma. When you do your chores try to be mindful. If you are emptying a spittoon or cleaning a toilet don't feel you are doing it as a favor for anyone else. There is Dharma in emptying spittoons. Don't feel you are practicing only when sitting still cross-legged. Some of you have complained that there is not enough time to meditate. Is there enough time to breathe? This is your meditation: mindfulness, naturalness in whatever you do.

--Ajahn Chah, in Jack Kornfield’s Living Dharma; from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book.

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