Purifying our body and mind, purifying the world
Let’s wash our hands before visiting
There is a teaching by Zen Master Dōgen, the founder of Eiheiji, in a chapter entitled “Cleansing” in his Treasury of the True Dharma Eye:
Our bodies and minds are unstained. However, to purify the body there is a method and there is a mind. Not only does this cleanse body and mind, it also cleanses the nation and cleanses under trees.
Even if in our nation has never been dirtied by dust, purifying is what all buddhas keep in mind.
When you live in the world of Buddha, your body and mind are pure. Still, there is a method to purify your body, and there is the mind which intends to purify. This manner and intention for purifying our body is not about just cleaning my own body and mind.
It is about purifying the world. Even if there is no dust or impurity in the world, the vow to purify is to maintain the self as Buddha.
Even in the era of infectious diseases, we do not wash our hands because we are infected or we are afraid of getting infected. Following the vow to purify the self, we simply wash our hands now.
This is precisely what will purify the self and preserve the world in its original state.
Hand washing and wearing a mask are the Buddha practices that are right under our feet – here and now.