Awake in the world
What is this meditation?
Dirt beneath these nails
“A long time ago in China, a Zen student asked if any of the sages had ever fallen into hell. His teacher answered that they are the first to go there! The shocked student asked, ‘But if they are enlightened, why would they fall into hell?’ The teacher looked at the student and with a smile said, ‘If I didn’t fall into hell, how could I help you?’ Do you see what he is doing here? He completely reverses the student’s problem, saying this is not about the student’s idea of purity, but about helping and caring. That is what’s important. He’s saying that you have to get your hands dirty; you have to dig right in. Just as you are, without some special robe or degree or twenty years of meditation practice. Just as you are, you can help.”
~ Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara
from the chapter “Living In The Suffering World”
from her book, “MOST INTIMATE: A Zen Approach To Life’s Challenges”