[ Sitting Practice ]
The Crock of Butter
At one point, to illustrate the uselessness of prayers for the dead, the Buddha made a simile of a rock (for a man who worked bad deeds of body, speech and mind) being thrown into a pond. And he asked: Now, however much the people standing on this shore prey fervently: "Rise up good rock, rise up!" is that rock going to rise up from the bottom of that pond?
No it is not.
But then, he creates another simile, the crock of butter simile, to illustrate how a good man breaks free and rises to the surface. When the crock of butter is thrown into the pond and lands on the bottom and cracks open, the butter breaks free and rises to the surface.
So then imagine that it is this way with that crock of butter there: being thrown into the pond, but not so's the crock breaks, nevertheless it can be seen that by not preserving that crock, by letting bits of it break off and drop away, get pounded off, warn off, rubbed off, ticked t'off (at'sa jusa talk a time ting), ever so surely, the weight of the crock is becoming less and the ability of the butter inside to create buoyancy is becoming greater. After a while, maybe after a long long time, but sooner or later, carrying on This Way, that Butter is sure to break through and rise to the surface. This is a simile illustrating letting go, living by attrition.
But of course, here, we train ourselves to recognize butter as butter, and recognizing butter as butter we know about butter, we train ourselves not to think about butter, we train ourselves not to think of butter in any of the ways we might think of butter, we train ourselves not to think in terms of "my" with regard to butter, we train ourselves not to delight in butter.
Because This is the Way we may come to fully understand butter, so say I.