“Everyday life is the way.”
A wonderful PBS program on “The Life of the Buddha” reminded me of this central tenet of Buddhist thought: The path to wisdom is found in our ordinary activities, in the way we make our meals and fold the laundry, sweep the steps and feed the cat. I know this, and I forget. I want to live this truth and also to reflect upon it. Starting today I vow to spend some time each day to consider this.
I plan to choose an everyday object to start the conversation.
On this “Day 1” of my project I picked my favorite teacup. This cup was made by the potter, Sandy Kreyer . It is beautifully made, exceedingly strong. The enamel finish is thick and shiny. It is not prone to chip or crack and feels good as I hold it. It is a sturdy cup and deep. The hand painted design is lovely. Each time I use it filled with Earl Grey tea with milk and sweetener I can't help but smile. Such beauty arouses my pleasure. Form, color and function join to bring me a happy moment not only while drinking the tea and holding the cup, but also when washing it or hanging it on a hook in the kitchen.
There are so many objects in my world that stand ready to serve me and to delight my senses. I've never noticed the teacup complaining when I leave it dirty on the side table. It "lives" (if you will) to serve me. So it is fitting that I treat it with respect and consideration. It even makes sense to me to thank it. "Thank you, teacup, you are always there for me." And, thank you, Sandy Kreyer, for sitting at your wheel to make this cup.
Begin to look around and notice the objects that are "there" for you.