A big title with a colorful background catches my eye: Rebirth Of Garbage, on one page of Beijing Evening Newspaper. It is a group of articles and pictures about EXPO in Shanghai.
The stories are about how a sludge pit became a garden, how the garbage is transformed into furniture and clothes, how the wastes are rebuilt into an elegant house, how the spoiled vegetables can be used as fuel…
Normally, when we see the rubbish or just think of rubbish, we feel uncomfortable or even sick. But when we wear the clothes, use the tableware which are reborn from garbage, we don’t feel uncomfortable, even though we know they are from their former life – garbage. And you may also not be aware that your clean tableware and neat dressing will become garbage one day in the future. And even our own body might become part of the sludge later! But you will become part of the flowers and trees, too.
To think in this way, is not intended to confuse the concept of “clean and dirty” or “birth and death”, but to help to cultivate the view of “impermanence”, eliminate “the illusion of inherent existence” and avoid to be bonded by “relative concepts”. Everybody lives in dying, everything exists in rebirth in a split moment. The sorrow can be reborn into happiness, the joy can be reborn into worrying, the itch can be reborn into pain, the seed can be reborn into fruit…but all of these are just the transient products of dependent conditions. When we can see into their essence, we’ll know how to keep an equal mind.
Both our body and mind will face death/rebirth one day, they are not two things. And both of them are part of a “dream” – they are real but not true.