Dear Earth, why bother?On 11th January 2020 by Satya
This morning I gave a talk here at the temple called ‘Introduction to Buddhism: Why Bother?’. In it I explained why I (sometimes) prioritise spiritual practice over watching Netflix.
Life is often a whole lot of bother. Most of us are already stretched. It would be better for you, dear Earth, if I made my own oat milk and gave up my car and planted trees in my spare time – but that ain’t happening.
The reality is that I only have a limited amount of wiggle room when it comes to extra bother, even if the extra bother would be an excellent thing to do. This is why, when I have a little capacity, I try to sometimes choose things that nourish me and that increase my capacity further – like five minutes of spiritual practice, or a conversation with a good friend, or a dog walk in the rain.
When we go to the bother of digging out our waterproof trousers or going to a strange temple for an introductory talk, we are turning towards kindness. Kindness nourishes us and makes us healthier and happier. When we are healthier and happier, gratitude arises in us like bubbles in lemonade.
You have given us so much to be grateful for, beloved Earth. When these gratitude bubbles arise, how could we not include your birdsong and plump butternut squashes and wild prairies and the scent of ground coffee? When we experience this gratitude, how can we not want to offer you gifts in return? How can we not want to heal you?
The first truth of Buddhism is that there’s no avoiding bother. What we can do is face the bother and move as far as we are able in the direction of kindness. If there’s only a millimetre of wiggle room, wonderful. A whole millimetre! What are you going to choose?
Much love, Satya <3