A Dharma Glimpse by Chris Earle-Storey
I’ve had a difficult couple of weeks and have been finding it hard to concentrate on things. The current hot weather does not help; normally I would refresh myself by spending time working in the garden, but the fierce heat of the sun makes it too uncomfortable.
Yesterday morning I went outside to put some rubbish in the black household waste bin. Our wheelie bins stand at the top of the driveway and are in the shade for much of the day, but even so I was struck by the distinctly unpleasant smell coming from the black bin. This is a good time to clean it out, I thought: it’s in the shade, and I don’t much feel like doing anything else, so I may as well do something practical and useful.
I lay the bin on its side and climbed into it. I spent half an hour scrubbing and rinsing; I am sure any passing neighbours must have been amused by the sight of my rear end sticking out of the bin, but by the time I’d finished the once-minging wheelie bin was shining and considerably more sweet-smelling. Alas, the same could not be said for me and I had to put all my clothes in the wash and myself in the shower.
As I washed the grime and odours from my aching body, I reflected on how simple it is to clean our physical selves but how much more difficult to wash clean our minds and spirits. The hard work had certainly distracted me from the current preoccupations of my mind but it was only temporary. In order to do a mental cleansing, something else was needed.
I spent some time that evening doing the sort of things that I know from experience are good for my mind and spirit. I meditated. I chanted. I read a Dharma text. I put some of my thoughts down on paper. And finally, I saw a Dharma Glimpse in the day’s experience.
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