Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 07/05/2018

A Worthless, Old Rag

Ācariya Mun insisted that in order to live in comfort a monk must comport himself like a worthless old rag. If he can rid himself of the conceit that his virtuous calling makes him somebody special, then he will feel at ease in all of his daily activities and personal associations, for genuine virtue does not arise from such assumptions. Genuine virtue arises from the self-effacing humility and forthright integrity of one who is always morally and spiritually conscientious. Such is the nature of genuine virtue: without hidden harmful pride, that person is at peace with himself and at peace with the rest of the world wherever he goes.

I know that there is much pride in my own heart that sullies any small virtue I may have. Though not yet a bhikkhu, may I always comport myself with the humility of one dressed in rags and full of filth, inside and out. And, lest I fool myself into believing that it is only this fathom long body that is impure may I reflect upon whether I would be happy to make my secret thoughts known to family, friend and foe.

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.