Trungpa Rinpoche said that the bodhisattva is engaged in humanity, and is not put off by the “the ego puke and ego diarrhea” of human beings, because he or she finds people endlessly interesting—not as a science project, not as something distant and abstract, but very intimately. When all of our preoccupations and distractions fall away, the radiant everydayness and everywhereness of our lives leap forward and fill our attention. “Caoshan likes to get falling down drunk.” The footnote to this line says, “What’s not all right?” When we see things as they truly are, what is not perfect and complete, what does not fulfill itself?

In the capping verse, Hongzhi says: The pure household has no neighbors. For long years, staying in sweeping, not admitting any dust. To let go of the dust, to free ourselves of attachments—that too can become an attachment. That’s why a master said, “One whose eyes cannot get sand in them, is restricted.” If we become pure and untainted, we’re restricted. That’s why it is said in the Vimalakirti Sutra that the greatly enlightened lay master Vimalakirti went to teach the homeless people living under the  bridges, in the brothels and the bars, and in the gambling casinos. To harmonize inner and outer, to embody our original nature in the world is the great challenge of the buddhadharma. Daido Roshi emphasized that this dharma must walk, it must speak, it must act, it must raise a child, it must work. If it’s not functioning, then it’s not serving, it’s not healing this immense and unnecessary pain that is all around us.

Caoshan said, “Crude, mundane greed; anger; and ignorance may be difficult to cut off, yet they are still light—unconcern and non-doing purity is graver than anything.” Attachment to holiness, to sanctity, to a sense of purity, is most tragic, because at that point we are finally at a place on the path where we can really move into the world and help. And yet that attachment binds us, it holds us back. Our practice is not about being unconcerned; it’s not about not feeling. Our practice is to realize that in feeling, there is nothing but feeling; in grief, there is nothing but grief; in joy, nothing but joy. There is nothing to hold back.

 

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