Running Errands

Yutang Lin

Just as having children one simply runs for all sorts of errands,
Serving the Both-Complete Reverend keeps one busy running.
Unceasingly taking care of Dharma matters, one after another,
As mileage accumulated counted toward upgrade in Pureland.


A Chinese proverb says, "Having children one is satisfied with everything." The Chinese word used for satisfaction has another meaning of foot. Hence I used to joke about this proverb by interpreting it as saying: having children one becomes feet for everything, because once there is a baby in the house then one will have to keep running errands to maintain the necessary supplies.

Since a Buddha possesses both wisdom and compassion to their completion (satisfaction), a Buddha is also called as "Both-Complete Reverend." In Chinese the title is literally "Two Satisfaction (Feet) Reverend." Because Buddha regards all sentient beings as dearly as biological children, when we serve Buddha and learn to become Buddha we need to run all sorts of errands in order to provide Dharma services to sentient beings. Thus there is another type of "Having children one becomes feet for everything." Running errands for Dharma services is a wonderful way for practitioners to accumulate merits toward progress on the path. The reason is that such activities help form a Bodhi channel for communication between sentient beings and Buddhas. Citing modern practices of airline industries as an analogy, the mileage thus accumulated would help us gain upgrade of our lotus seats for rebirth in Pureland.

Written in Chinese and translated on November 7, 2003
El Cerrito, California

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