West London Buddhist Centre

Pieces of string

Published on Apr 17th 2024, in Blog

Emptying out one of our composts bins, the question ‘how long is a piece a string?’ came to mind. Because amidst the lovely soil, mango shells, partly rotted sticks, the odd teaspoon and more, I kept coming across long bits of string.

Once I got past ‘where did all those bits of string come from?’, I was again reminded of how like our hearts/mind a compost heap can be. How what we no longer find useful can transform to something of benefit. And how some things take a loonnngggg time to transform.

But these strings – how they intertwine through the soil and around what was yet to become soil. Threads that connect and support, like the image of Indra’s net in Buddhism and elsewhere, reflecting the connections between all of us, our actions, the consequences of those actions. Imagine a spider’s web with dew drops on it. Those sparkling jewels reflect one another. Touch one thread of the web and the whole network shivers, dew drops shimmer and perhaps some might fall off or threads let go.

And then there are the sutras or suttas, the texts which hold the teachings of the Buddha. The terms translate as ‘thread’. These are strings that can join us to the wisdom of kindness, simplicity, generosity, clarity – and perhaps with that, unite us to the true essence of ourselves.

Ah, that’s why those thin but resilient strings run through the compost.

With a bow

for you study geeks (like me!): sutra (Sanskrit); sutta (Pali)


from the WLBC Newsletter, 17 April 2024
Sign up here to receive our regular newsletter and announcements

Unravel the roots of anxiety and stress with our Breathworks’ Mindfulness for Stress 8-week course. More info here. Book here.