‘This morning when we were bowing in the zendo, we heard a big noise overhead, because upstairs in the dining room people were pushing chairs across the floor without picking them up. This is not the way to treat chairs, not only because it may disturb the people who are bowing in the zendo underneath, but also because fundamentally this is not a respectful way to treat things.
To push the chairs across the floor is very convenient, but it will give us a lazy feeling. Of course this laziness is part of our culture, and it eventually causes us to fight with each other. Instead of respecting things, we want to use them for ourselves, and if it is difficult to use them, we want to conquer them. This kind of idea does not accord with the spirit of practice…
When we pick up the chairs one by one carefully, without making much noise, then we will have the feeling of practice in the dining room. We will not make much noise of course, but also the feeling is quite different. When we practice this way we ourselves are Buddha, and we respect ourselves. To care for the chairs means our practice goes beyond the zendo.’
This is the piece that was referenced during the reading for Blanche’s new book, which of course took place in the same dining room.