On Slurs, Sincerity, and ‘the Single Minded Way’

train-tracks-spirited-away

“The Bodhisattva’s way is called ‘the single minded way,’ or ‘one railway track thousands of miles long.’ The railway track is always the same. If it were to become wider or narrower, it would be disastrous. Wherever you go, the railway track is always the same. That is the Bodhisattva’s way. So even if the sun were to rise from the west, the Bodhisattva has only one way. His way is in each moment to express his nature and his sincerity.” – Shunryu Suzuki, “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind”

If this speaks to you today, cool. If not, disregard it. I take it to mean that, no matter how crazy things get – or “even if the sun were to rise from the west” – all we can do is try to bring our true nature and sincerity to bear on every situation and person we encounter. I was reminded of this passage earlier today when reading a friend’s social media post. She’s struggling – as are many – with the angry, anxious political climate in the U.S. right now.

We can’t control the workings of the universe or the hearts of other people, and the control we have over even our immediate surroundings is often more limited than we think. It’s easy to get caught up, worked up, and basically “troubled about many things” (Luke 10:41). When that happens, it’s good to have something solid and consistent to return to, something that can remind us where the center is and what really matters.

And don’t get me wrong, it’s a good thing to labor compassionately in service to others; it’s a good thing to care about justice, and to work for justice. But, when things seem bleak – as they sometimes will – when slurs and slanders poison the air around us, we can still practice returning, over and again, to the moment at hand, to the “one thing needful,” and to a “single minded way.”

Posted in response to the WordPress Daily Prompt: Slur
(https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/slur/)

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4 Responses to On Slurs, Sincerity, and ‘the Single Minded Way’

  1. Pingback: Baby Steps Along the Bodhisattva’s Way | The Ubiquitous Burrito

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