Unpleasant Odor

It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that Buddha, Jesus, and Krishna characterized the world as a shithole. Buddha was so distraught by the suffering he saw, that he left his family and sought enlightenment — Jesus castigated the religious leaders of his time until dying at their behest — and Krishna urged Arjuna to slaughter his treacherous family.

So those seeing this world as messed-up, are not crazy. In fact, they are following in hallowed footsteps. But of course, this path does not end with complaining, it requires transcendence of the crap. Mere acceptance will not do — this path requires the realization of a purity existing beyond the dung.

But make no mistake, the flesh will become soiled — ceaselessly so. The body is a poop-tube after all, food goes in, poop comes out. As Buddha abused his body while in a depressive state, as Jesus hung from the cross, and as Arjuna butchered his cousins, we witness the filthy nature of existence.

And dealing with the stink of life is not about avoidance, or covering over the smell, or holding the nose — as those strategies ultimately fail — it’s about removing the connotation of “stink”. By questioning the very nature of stink, we begin to let go of the idea that “stink” is a concrete concept.

When we train our mind to no longer focus on feces, when we quiet the turbulent thoughts that tend toward the noxious, we escape the taint of excrement. Although we are ever surrounded by fecal matter, our essence, that which is experienced in the stillness of a quieted mind, remains untouched.

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