Friday, January 7, 2011

Balancing ecstasy and laundry

I finished the last chapter of After the Ecstasy, the Laundry this morning, and it had so many wonderful moments in it I just thought I'd share some of them with you.

"Our daily practices help us stay balanced, attend to our body, keep our heart open, strengthen our ability to offer clear love.  Our practice becomes like cleaning house.  We do not just clean the house once and forget it.  It is a regular task, and a pleasure to live in a clean house, to honor all who enter.  

But the house is not who we are, and no amount of ambitious cleaning will change the nature of our life.  We practice to express our awakening, not to attain it...we don't practice meditation or prayer to make some special reality.  Eating, walking, speaking, seeing, breathing, defecating -- each is amazing in itself.

This innocent heart, our Buddha Nature, the Child of the Spirit, the Holy One within is never degraded nor lost.  It is never born and never dies.  To see in this way is to see, as the Tao says, "with eyes unclouded by longing."  When we awaken this innocent heart, we find our true home.  At ease, we celebrate the simple marvels of every day...

This holy wisdom is whispered by the Tibetans in the ear of one who is dying.  "Remember the clear light, the pure clear light from which everything in the universe comes, to which everything returns, the original nature of your own mind.  It is your own true nature; it is home.

...When we embody this truth, our life becomes a blessing... we ourselves become the source.  Releasing ambition or fear, we return to our true home.  Without imitation, we become just who we are.  Our being is at ease; our heart opens.  Joy and freedom of spirit fill our days."

And then he closes with these words:  "In ending this book, I honor the wholeness that is your own true nature.  May your journey lead you home.  May you rest in grace, in natural compassion and a liberated heart.  Whether in times of joy or sorrow, in ecstasy or in the laundry, may you be happy.  May all who read the words of this book find freedom and joy.  May your love bring benefit to all beings."

And so another ending.  It's a day of beginnings and endings -- off to Seattle for the first class of the new term, and then down to Portland for a memorial service.  There's a certain amount of ecstasy felt, reading these wonderful words.  But a lot of laundry lies ahead; I'm hoping to find a healthy balance between the two -- and I wish the same for you.

Peace, my friends.



Maureen said...

Thank you for sharing this great excerpt from the book. "ecstasy... in the laundry": love what that implies!

Hope you enjoy your classes this semester!

Louise Gallagher said...

And peace to you lovely Diane.