High things in high places; low things in low places

I'm not sure how one begins a narrative "I recall another story about sh*t-sticks.", but it made me laugh anyhow. I keyed in on Ms. Aoyama's words: "No matter how valuable sh*t-sticks may be, or how indispensable, we would certainly be in trouble if they were confused with chopsticks." I was reminded of a time in my life where I associated with a very selfish group of friends. They weren't bad people, but as a group we reinforced each others' egos. Fortunately, I left that group and was able to find friends who have taken me a bit away from my natural self-absorption.

I think Ms. Aoyama is pointing to the true function of a thing. Beyond good and bad, I had confused self-gratification with friendship.

Is there a time in your life when you confused sh*t-sticks with chopsticks? This is an area in which I constantly require practice.

Savor Each Moment in Life

Ms. Aoyama writes: "If we wonder where truth is hidden,or whether we can find worthwhile work, we will restlessly look beyond ourselves."

Which compliments Hsueh-tou's verse: "Looking for the moon, it is here, in this wave and the next."

In the story of the taxi driver, we are invited to confront the specter of self-aggrandizement. Presently, I am in the particular habit of constantly evaluating my history. Sometimes it's helpful, but mostly it leads to negative judgements about the past or future me. At the end of the day, sometimes I wonder "What if this is as far as I go?" As soon as the thought appears in my head, I feel horrible. I'm happy with what I have, and am disappointed in myself for wanting more, even on a subconscious level.

If you knew that where you are today (regarding family, career, friends, etc) would never substantially change, how would that make you feel?

Thank you for the opportunity to share. I'm looking forward to sitting with y'all for rohatsu.