from Reincarnation Through Common Sense by Doug "Ten" Rose
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The Locks on the Doors
They have both been kind enough to tell me Iím welcome at any time. I am always glad to see them too. Both Monks are very enjoyable company and patient with my language handicap. They are true friends.
I went up to say hi yesterday, but neither Mee nor Chaiyote were in.
They both had padlocks on their doors.
This is very peculiar!
Minor weasel-like or drunk-punk-kid type thievery and overcharging foreigners at certain stores can happen, but blatant burglary is almost unheard of in Honoria. This is especially true in tiny rural villages such as this one where everyone knows everything about everybody. Folks know what time their neighbors get up in the morning, where they go, what they own, and a lot more. No one here could even possess an extra possession without the whole village knowing about it.
There appears to be complete honesty and integrity within the community.
Jails here are brutal but they are not the worst part of being caught for burglary or robbery. To get caught stealing from a fellow Honorian makes for a big loss of face. Losing face that big is a very bad thing. No one wants to know you. To lose the respect of your community is considered a fate worse than death here.
Add to this information the facts that only a drug-crazed lunatic would steal from a Monk almost anywhere in Asia, and that we live on an otherwise deserted rocky mountain with ass-kicking bears, poisonous snakes, and scorpions. Besides that, our residents have adopted poverty as a way of life and actually have nothing to steal! Locks on Monk doors are more confusing to me than the sudden appearance of a naked starlet in my bed.
* * *
In the afternoon, I tried to ask Chaiyote and Mee about the locks. Either they didnít understand my question or I didnít understand their answer. Maybe both.
As we started visiting each other more often I would sometimes walk up to their cabins with them, or leave when they left. I noticed they were staring at the locks for much longer than necessary when they opened or secured them. As they stared at the locks, their lips were moving and they had that meditation/chanting glow in their eyes.
I suddenly got it. The locks arenít locks to them. The locks are symbolic. When they go out, they want to remember to lock their minds against both internal and external factors that might cause imbalance. When they come home and open the locks, they are telling themselves that the Buddha (and probably whoever else can make it up that hill) is warmly and openly welcome into their home and life.
Itís a great system, but there will never be a lock on my cabin door. Thereís something else that needs my attention.
I need to trust people again. I think about that when opening and closing my unlocked door.
* * *
I visit my friends up the hill more often these
days. We lock up against our worst potential and unlock our best tendencies
together at the doors theyíve taught me how to use.