The Dharma of Trash

Written by Lina Blanchet and published on Lions Roar on December 20, 2016

Blanchet (right) with members of the Buddhist Sangha of Bucks County at their annual roadside cleanup. Photo courtesy of the author.…. It’s right that we’re out here. Picking up litter is akin to our dharmic path: seek out the landscape of refuse, and clear it with purpose, much like noticing our own negative mindstates, observing them, and allowing them to pass.

While cleaning the roadside, I begin to imagine each piece of garbage I pick up as the
anger, jealousy, or indifference I experience. Recognizing the pain caused by these mind states, a tenderness of heart develops, and I remind myself that a willingness to sit with this pain is where the path of compassion begins. I see the trash, hold on to it, consider it, and let it go, making way for a greater spaciousness….

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