Monday, April 09, 2007

"Before we beg, our begging bowl has to be emptied..."

-Chogyam Trungpa

7 comments:

Slade said...

My beggin bowl is always empty because I'm too proud to ask for help.

thephoenixnyc said...

Hmmm, what's you take on that Shawn? I'm not sure what to think.

Shawn said...

Slade - Your beggin' bowl is always empty because you're pregnant! Or, is that your ice cream bowl? Kisses.

PNYC - I think you can take it a lot of ways. He was referring to the monk's practice of taking their bowl out and begging for food once a day. So the obvious is that you can't go out and beg food when you still have some in your bowl.

It's also referring to Bodhisattva vows and the need to give everything you have to liberating others from their suffering. It does no one any good to try and hoard the your own rice as it will go bad. You can't eat part of it and then go out and expect people to fill your bowl. It's not until the bowl is empty and it's contents put to good use that one can take the bowl out again. And most of the time the bowl will again be filled. So - in a lot of ways - we're the bowl.

I suppose you could read we should only take what we need lessons into it to. A monk's bowl will only hold so much rice after all.

thephoenixnyc said...

Thanks Shawn.

Wendy said...

I like the idea of us only taking what we need. But sometimes people need things before they have nothing.

Shawn said...

I think this one was directed at a group of monks who would have been held to a little different standard because they took vows.

Householders - or laypeople - weren't expected to go the whole poverty route, but to take the idea of it and apply it as best they could in their lives.

Joe said...

ooooo - i like that quote.