Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Fish Basket

The pure land is right here, right now.  We can live in the pure land that leads to enlightenment.

Bhante Sangharakshita tells the Indian story (p37 of Inconceivable Emancipation) of the woman with the fish basket.  She sells fish weekly at the market.  One day it's late before she sells her fish and she asks a flower seller if she can stay the night because it's late, and she doesn't want to walk home.  She can't stand the sweet smell of flowers, so she gets her fish basket to fall asleep.

He tells the story to point out that we might not be able to stay in a pure land, despite the initial response, "I'd like to be there."  So the question becomes, what stops us from living in the pure land?

I'd say my fish basket is sports fanaticism, and video games, but there are the psychological traits of dreaminess, brittleness in the face of criticism, lack of energy towards the good (laziness) and individualism and the desire to be left alone to figure things out in my own way in my own time (which may or may not be an evasion or just the way I learn things).  There are squishy things I avoid because they are somehow psychically too painful.  I haven't even figured out all the ways in which I hold myself back, or the underlying dynamics of all that.

As usual the way you work on things is meditation, noble friendship, dharma study and patience.

No comments: