So I’m riding my motorbike to opening night of a play I’m doing about trying to be a better person and I see an electronic board outside Randwick Primary School.
On the sign it says ‘A day without laughter is a day wasted – Charlie Chaplin’. ‘Oh so he coined that quote’ I am surprised to learn.
And I am confronted. I’m confronted because that quote has been on a mug that a former housemate left at our place. I’ve always been judgemental of the mug and sadly, even the owner of the mug …… I’ve thought it a facile statement and I’m ashamed to say an assumption the ex-owner is also facile.
I’ve even, many times, taken the mug out of the cupboard (I use it regularly because it’s an oversize mug and greed types like me are attracted to such things) played around saying the phrase aloud and mimicking the English accent of its ex-owner.
And ….. now that I know Charlie Chaplin coined the phrase I experience my paradigm fundamentally challenged. ‘He’s a genius. I am not a shadow of a performer in comparison – if he said it then that changes everything’. And in having to concede that I also have to concede that I’m an arrogant, ignorant bigot who has a lot to learn about meeting people and situations on ever fresh and unmediated ground …….
Ahh the dharma! How useful is our practice in not letting us off the hook! I need to be able to have these precious moments of shame, supported by the receptivity and awareness that meditation and spiritual friendship gives, to recognise my contradictions.
Then, maybe, one day I’ll be consistently in touch with the beautiful freedom the Buddha says is the fruit of his teaching
Meditation is my best hope:
Tuesday 6 – 7.30 pm
Sunday 8 – 9 am