Everything Deserves Our Effort

 “Everything deserves effort because it makes an effort to grow.”

Chef Niki Nakayama from Chef’s Table a Netflix series

Shinshu’s Commentary

Even though we may not know how something has come about, we can honor the effort each thing has made throughout its life. When we fold a towel, the whole universe’s effort is in the fibers of the cotton of that towel. Furthermore there is the effort of the machines and people who made this towel for us to use. Growing, dying, birthing, increase and decrease are all the activity of the world’s effort.

Dogen wrote about the continuous activity of each thing making the world. Without that continuous activity we could not be alive. Cultivating our sensibility toward the effort of each thing, will help our bodhisattva practice of gratitude and generosity. It will have the benefit of calming our mind. Folding a towel with the same care that we take with something we consider more valuable, will change how we are with everything and every person we encounter. We will become more grounded and integrated with the totality of what already is. Our anxiety will be soothed, our inattention will be clarified, our generosity will flourish. And here’s the best part, we are surrounded by opportunities to do this practice.



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