Shining Shit

How can something that has never been soiled be cleaned? asked the teacher when a monk requested the job of Sanitation Officer.  When the monk presented his answer, the teacher hit him, the monk broke into a sweat and stepped into enlightenment.  In gratitude, he diligently cleaned the toilets in the monastery for 10,000 years.  I suppose he was cleaning what was not soiled.  Was his shit shining?  Steaming and oh, so luminous?

We humans are very interested in cleaning soiled things.  We sanitize, kill our bacteria, hide our homeless, cleanse our ethnics, and defeat our dictators.  Striving for purity, we participate in endless wars, pointing fingers at this bad guy or that.  Movies satisfy when good triumphs over bad.   Personally, I engage in holy wars on several fronts.   I'm very attracted to the notion of cleansing the body.  Rheumatoid Arthritis is what I want to get rid of, so the alt-nutrition industry with its internet weaponry seduces me into thinking that if I can eliminate toxins I can eliminate disease.  Just raw pure food, and I will be clean, healthy, happy, and all powerful and rich and…  no shit.  

My mind also tries to purify and protect itself.   If I experience anger, I want to get rid of it by blaming it on someone and then getting rid of him.  Or I harbor the idea that if I meditate enough, strongly enough, I will feel good all the time.  Of course this is one of the biggest mistakes out there.  What do I mean by good anyway?  Can I restrict my experience to positive emotions, positive thoughts?  If I have a negative experience, does that mean I need to change jobs, cities, partners?   What if I do make all those changes, am I shit-free?  I don't know about you but I keep stepping in that shit.  Is the shit soiled or is it shining? 

Mu.  Not yes.  Not no.  

Disability is my shining shit.  Once I stop trying to get rid of it, I recognize it as part of myself.  Embracing disability means I can stop fighting myself.  I can relax, accept that it is so, take medication if I need it, move how and when I can, enjoy my food.  Shit is a consequence of eating, and we are eating all the time.   We are consuming not just food but infinite other elements of life.  Life is feeding life.  Which part is the shit?  


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Reader Comments (2)

I have recently started to think about safety. What is safety, and what results when we continuously seek safety.

My parents moved to Florida in the 1990's for the safety of the warm weather, and because my father could not handle seeing how my brother brings up his kids. The kids are all fine, by the way. My parents now live in a gated community in Boynton Beach so they can be safe in a foreign place. My father now no longer can drive so safety means that they spend most of the time behind the gates of their own apartment. My parents struggle to get along so they have retreated to separate bedrooms in order to be safe. They watch tv in separate tv rooms, one louder than the other so they are protected from each other by the gates of sound.

The other day, I got into my own dispute with my partner, and noticed that the feeling I had was one of "not feeling safe". I then proceeded to look at all the places in my mind I have created for my own safety. There's the safety of anger, he safety of shutting down, the safety of going along without thought, the safety of a story loop in my brain.

But, I realized that none of this is really safety. It is only creating one gate on top of another until I am alone, relegated in my own shit. The hole only gets deeper, and with little effort, there will always be people to help me dig the hole a bit deeper, or stick another gate in front of me.

But, what if the unsafe provides the only true safety? Am I willing to look at the shit? Am I really willing to make it shine? Making it shine takes time....perhaps 10,000 years. But it requires effort to look and take notice, and see what it really is. Yes, the shit is really really shiny! No gates. No walls. It is always exactly where you are.

July 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteveTajo

Elena, I’ve nominated PschoZen for a “One Lovely Blog” award (it’s not exactly an award, but it is nice). Read more about it here:

October 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Goldberg
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