How many of us are swept away by what I have come to call an “active laziness”? Naturally there are different species of laziness: Eastern and Western. The Eastern style consists of hanging out all day in the sun, doing nothing, avoiding any kind of work or useful activity, drinking cups of tea and gossiping with friends.
Western laziness is quite different. It consists of cramming our lives with compulsive activity, so that there is no time left to confront the real issues.
If we look into our lives, we will see clearly how many unimportant tasks, so-called “responsibilities” accumulate to fill them up. One master compares them to “housekeeping in a dream.” We tell ourselves we want to spend time on the important things of life, but there never is any time.
Helpless, we watch our days fill up with telephone calls and petty projects, with so many responsibilities – or should we call them “irresponsibilities”?
This means “complete, unsurpassed, perfect enlightment.” Notice, though, that the sutra first says the bodhisattva has nothing to attain and that, because of having nothing to attain, he attains complete liberation. You can’t attain liberation the way you attain a 1968 Camaro or D-plus on a math test. You can only attain liberation by clearly seeing there is nothing to attain.
The shown clip is from the DVD accompanying the book:
Walking Meditation (sep 2006) Thich Nhat Hanh, Anh-Huong Nguyen
The Miracle of Mindfulness: A Manual on Meditation (dec 1999) Thich Nhat Hanh
The Blooming of a Lotus: Guided Meditation for Achieving the Miracle of Mindfulness (jun 1999) Thich Nhat Hanh
Is there a difference between yes and no?
Is there a difference between good and evil?
Must I fear what others fear? What nonsense!
Other people are contented, enjoying the sacrificial feast of the ox.
In spring some go to the park, and climb the terrace,
But I alone am drifting, not knowing where I am.
Like a newborn babe before it learns to smile,
I am alone, without a place to go.
Others have more than they need, but I alone have nothing.
I am a fool. Oh, yes! I am confused.
Others are clear and bright,
But I alone am dim and weak.
Others are sharp and clever,
But I alone am dull and stupid.
Oh, I drift like the waves of the sea,
Without direction, like the restless wind.
Everyone else is busy,
But I alone am aimless and depressed.
I am different.
I am nourished by the great mother.