Vimalakirti was a householder, or as some call him, a lay practitioner to whom is attributed the Vimalakirti Sutra. Of all the heros of Buddhism he is my favourite precisely because he was a householder. Whether he existed or not is moot. My read on the sutra is that he must have had a lot of material possessions. The point is that he achieved enlightenment (now there’s an oxymoron) while going about his everyday life. Zen emphasises the ordinary and here he is.
Actually, I’m writing this having just got back from putting the rubbish out. And I’m going to go and sit on my mat in a minute.
I think the point is that our everyday lives are meditation practise too.
Some people break the eightfold middle path down into three sections:- prajna (wisdom):- right view, right intention ; sila (ethics):- right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort; and samadhi (meditation):- right mindfulness, right concentration. But I think it’s really just one practise – extending the emptiness of meditation into the emptiness of our daily lives. Strange as that may sound.
When we sit in meditation, realising that the stuff in our minds is just stuff is much easier. It’s much harder in everyday life. I think that it’s the waking up from a train of thought in meditation that points the way to waking up in our daily lives. And, at least in meditation in the little way I imagine I know it, it really does feel like waking up.
Thanks for the inspiration, Vimalakirti.