Zen Boxes: Art Installation: 8 White Thread

White wool thread hanging in an acrylic box

"The phrase 'resting at ease' is not very easy to understand. Usually we think that lying down and closing our eyes and making up our own world through stories and dreams is resting. But we always have to fend off the real world to do this. Or we might think that saving ourselves difficulty is resting at ease. We walk down the hallway and see a bit of white fluff or a strand of black string on the floor and we think that this has nothing to do with us or we think that we will pick it up later. But this kind of taking it easy makes things very difficult for us and soon the hallway is filthy and we become depressed at how shabby our situation is and we feel oppressed. Resting at ease is a matter of not avoiding difficulties. We bend over and pick up the thread. We fold the wash cloth after wringing it out thoroughly and then we put it away. We do not put too much rice on our spoon in oryoki and so grains of rice do not fall in our lap. And if grains of rice fall we make it easy for ourselves and every one else by not making too much difficulty about picking them up."

Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi,
"Sitting Up Straight, teisho 3: A Very Good Thing"

  • acrylic box 7" by 3 ½" by 1 ¾"
  • white wool thread