A Clean Room

Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz says it’s important to not accumulate clutter. He talks about periodically going through closets, etc., and throwing away everything you are not using. Why keep it? “Life is a room that we live in, ” Rama says, “As Buddhists, our only task is to keep our room clean.”

Rama goes on to qualify, however, that lack of possessions does not always mean a lack of clutter. Rama would sometimes enter an empty room in a monastery and have to leave – because there was so much clutter in the form of thoughts. 

Everything in our room is a part of us. We see and feel our past, present, and future in our room – this is why it’s good to clean your room. Simplify it – then you can see eternity.

Rama compares the feeling of a clean room to the feeling he gets when he reads Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. In Walden, Thoreau talks about keeping life simple. The mind state Rama connects to when he reads Walden, is that clean room / clean mind feeling. Thoreau’s mind is very clean.

Rama says that Thoreau’s Walden is an advertisement for a certain mental state. Thoreau is telling you about a place he found – and it’s not Walden Pond. He was writing about when your mind is quiet and uncluttered.

As Buddhists, our goal is to experience life, not the self. When we experience less self, and more life, we are content. When we experience more self, and less life, we are unhappy.

Life is beautiful. If we don’t see it that way, it’s because our room / mind needs cleaning. “No thought. Clean mind. Clean room.”

A Clean Room is talk 18 of 27 in the Tantric Buddhism series.

© ℗ 1990, The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism.

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