Work Must Be Practice
Work is an important problem for most of us, because we work to live. We can say our life has value because of work. This makes it a most important issue. Consequently, I like to raise work as a crucial issue.
An important problem for people is the issue of work, because we work to live. We can say our life has value because of work. This makes it a most important issue for us. Consequently, I like to focus on work as a crucial issue. On the back covers of our “Looking Within” series, I asked the publishers to print a little verse that concerns our topic.
Do work of all kinds with a free heart,
Offer the fruits of work to voidness,
Eat the food of emptiness as the noble ones do,
Die to one’s self from the very beginning.
Some of the phrases in this little verse are rather simple and conventional, but I think you’ll forgive me for that because it’s meant to be intelligible to ordinary people.
Why is it that we intended to use such strong language, that makes it hard to ignore or forget, such as “as the noble ones do” and “die to one’s self from the very beginning”? In the original Thai, the very start, are the ordinary language of villagers which Bangkok people probably don’t understand. It was my intention to use this phrasing in order to insist that these are the words of the sticks, of the boondocks. They’re spoken from the village. At a minimum, we’re teaching a few new words for those who might be interested (and here I was using Southern dialect).
What do you think of these words? It’s obvious that the meaning is for those of us who haven’t ended all defilement. It’s necessary to request or to impel them to work with empty heart. For those who are empty of defilement already, there’s no need to request or implore them. They naturally work with an empty heart. So we’re speaking to those who still experience defilement, advising them, or even forcing them, to do all kinds of work with an empty heart. Otherwise things will be atrocious.
If you don’t want to suffer, then work with an empty mind. Then work will be fun and the results will be excellent.
Extract from Work with Void-free mind by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu.
Read the full article here, this will open a PDF file. © Suan Mokh
You can read more Buddhadasa Bhikkhu teachings here.