Thursday, September 3, 2009

Finger Bowls

"Finger Bowls", number 149 of 188 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

Social and cultural customs are funny things. We agree that things should be done in a certain way. Others agree that things should be done in a different way. 'We' and 'Others' develop odd relationships because of this.

Aitken tells us of a meal he remembers as a adolescent where a guest drank from the finger bowls his grandmother used in her formal table place settings.

'We' think 'Others' are beneath us if they drink the water from the finger bowls. The whole idea of a finger bowl is quite odd indeed. A small bowl, filled with water, presented on a special manner on the table. Sure looks like something ceremonial like a sacrament. Aren't 'We' the crazy ones for washing our dirty fingers in the sacrament?

What other area of my life are like this? Culturally or socially blind to reality.

Be Amazing!

Any error or confusion created by my commentary on
Miniatures of a Zen Master
is solely a reflection of my own delusion and ignorance.
Any merit generated by this activity is solely the result of
Aitken Roshi's clear teaching and is dedicated to
all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout space and time.

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