West London Buddhist Centre

Purely simple

by Maitripushpa

Published on Mar 26th 2024, in Blog

For some reason, the idea of ‘purifying’ myself through Dharma practice has never felt comfortable to me. Maybe it’s the implication that I am ‘dirty’ or ‘unworthy’ in some way that made me turn away. Not nice to face that aspect of oneself, although it is inevitably there. Or, for some, it is only the uncomfortable bits they turn towards and the prospect of being ‘worthy’ or ‘pure’ is unimaginable. Somehow, versions of that word, like ‘purification’, have really gotten in the way of me understanding the essence of what it is being said here (no pun intended).

A talk by the late Ayya Khema completely shifted my relationship with that family of words. Roughly, she said every moment, even just a micro-second, of simply paying attention to one thing without emotion is purifying. Notice the tones of a bird song, feel the in-breath, really taste a mouthful of tea. If we can do that, there is no room for awareness of anger, despair, fear, confusion, greed when we are simple paying attention to one thing.

Snippets of pure being. Purely simple, simply pure.

With a bow

from the WLBC Newsletter, 14 March 2024
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