Weeding The Buddha

Yesterday I decided to weed. It rained a little and the weeds came out of the ground a little easier, the heat broke and I was happy to be a little wet.

In the practice of choiceless awareness the Buddha taught to look at everything equally. Not to linger over what pleases and avoid what doesn’t, but to give everything an equal attention.

So there I was perched to pull (kill), having chosen a day more comfortable than others to do this job. I often think I use this teaching to avoid any yardwork at all.

Without excuses I was defenceless against the strong, green dandelions and other nameless weeds on my path and terrace. They were even encroaching on my statue of the Buddha.

I approached him. Grasses sprouting around his back, dandelions at his front and dead, cut grasses in his lap. Those were easy but as I began to pull and tear the living greens from the bricks around him I remembered discrimination, choice, truthfulness – also part of the whole picture.

We are not, cannot be, victims of our choiceless awareness. We are not overreactive, aggressive, straining muscles to paddle. The athlete with clenched teeth is not first, nor is the one who goes with the flow. You cannot steer the boat without being ahead of the current.

The truth is that I like to see the distinct outline of the objects I place – the bricks and stones of the path, the line of the house, the curve of the road. Angor Wat didn’t happen fast but in New England you can see it coming.

When practice and intention inform my actions I am graceful.

Grace is the blessing to action. Grace is the Dalai Lama when asked if he killed mosquitoes, saying, “one comes and lands and bites, the second comes, but the third…” and his hand slaps the imaginary mosquito.

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