Monday, February 4, 2013

home leavers

In Buddhism, the term "home leaver" is sometimes applied to the dedicated monks and nuns who leave behind them the families, jobs, possessions and other paraphernalia of a layman's life. They declare their fealty and efforts to the Dharma and hold the banner for those who are not "home leavers" and yet yearn for a similar understanding or peace of mind.

Stylistically and linguistically, "home leaver" makes a coherent sense. An understandable narrative and discussion can evolve, whether over beer and chips or in front of some inspiring altar.

"Home leavers."

And yet the term seems to dissolve on examination ... sort of like the ash on a cigarette that drops into dust by its own burning insistence ... plop! or poof! or something like that.

Could a real home leaver actually leave home without knowing from muzzle to butt plate what home was left or who was leaving? How could such a thing be possible? How could a home leaver even think of calling him- or herself a home leaver -- or allow others to do the same -- without accomplishing this bred-in-the-bone necessity?

Seriously, where the rubber meets the road, what home is this? What leaver is this?

And, assuming such questions were adequately answered, what home leaver could possibly consent to or imagine being a home leaver? That would defeat the mission, wouldn't it?

And the same holds true for those who never left home at all.

Leave home, stay at home -- let's just get things straight.

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