illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)
Still, you find people going round crowing out unfounded claims: "I've left home. I'm a priest. I'm a priest."
What is even worse , they proceed to pocket the charity and donations they hoodwink laypeople, the householders or "stay-at-homes," into giving them.
Since everyone who lives in the world dwells in a home and works for his livelihood, why do we even use a special term like layman?
The term layman, meaning householder or "stay-at-home," is used in contrast to priest,a "house-leaver." A layman's life is a precarious one, a hard and ceaseless struggle, tilling the soil, plying a trade, running a shop, faced with almost constant adversity with never a moment's respite from the toils of birth-and-death. So from time to time he offers donations to the priests in order to create favourable karmic conditions that may enable him to break free of birth-and-death in a future existence. The [true] priest, for his part, in order to lead others to salvation, kindles a great burning faith in his heart, opens the matchless eye of wisdom through the attainment of kenshō, and then works tirelessly to bestow the great gift of the Dharma, leading his fellow beings toward salvation in place of the Buddha-patriarchs. In this way, priests and laity are like the two wheels of a cart, moving forward in unison. »
— master Hakuin, Wild Ivy
For a presentation of master Hakuin, see ' post:
Kenshō is an initial insight or awakening, to be cultivated (to find how to appropriately 'manifest' or 'embody' the wisdom gained).
Translation above from "The religious art of Zen Master Hakuin" by © Katsuhiro Yoshizawa with Norman Waddell.
Image: Suta suta bonze (or "busy busy" bonze), by Hakuin
["Suta suta bonze" refers to a class of beggar-priests who receive money from merchants in return for visiting Shinto shrines in their place, thus enabling busy merchants to atone for the lies and underhanded tactics they employed in their business dealings… In both the Kyoto-Osaka area and around Edo, they would go about stark naked even in the coldest weather, carrying a pilgrim's staff and wearing only a hachimaki around their heads and a simple cord girdle (shimenawa) around their waists, begging from door to door… It is interesting that Hakuin would portrait himself as a shinto priest, thus strongly distinguishing himself from "establishment Zen" (and its quiet isolated meditation), and appropriating the "busy busy"' attitude of the tireless priest aiming to save all beings which he describes in the above quote.]