Dedicated expression of meditative awareness
“Both the Vajrayana and the Zen emphasis is on fully expressed performance of reality, not its cognitive knowledge or interpretation, which reflects the valuing of actual bodhisattvic working over theoretical dictums......Therefore, the strong emphasis in much of Zen training is the mindful and dedicated expression of meditative awareness in everyday activities.”
Visions of Awakening Space and Time, Dogen and the Lotus Sutra by Taigen Dan Leighton.
Thus, cleaning the toilet wholeheartedly, non-attached to discriminative thought is the expression of buddha-reality, as is daily recitation of the Heart of the Perfection of Great Wisdom Sutra. For some of us, there is really a problem with chanting, recitations and ceremony. For others, it’s cleaning the poop-stain on the inner bowl of the toilet. Training comes, not-so-much of being proud to declare that poop doesn’t bother you; but in taking refuge in Buddha, letting go the conceptual prejudices and embracing the opportunity to fully pay attention to something, like ceremony, that you discount and dislike. And we all can certainly replace any of the examples with activities that we are prime to avoid or denigrate: shoveling snow in bitter cold, grocery shopping, balancing the checkbook...even sharing more of your own thoughts and concerns with those you care about (Refrain from being stingy in providing either Dharma or personal resources)
And to do so, not with resignation (as if that were conceived as truly letting go), but with “dedicated expression of meditative awareness.”
As Taigu once declared (and I sorely paraphrase) Let the noise of the street, the busyness of the crowd on the sidewalk, the sewer gas emanating from the manhole cover at the street intersection and all things that you engage next, and next, and next be your daily sutra.