Take Responsibility for the Requisites
I’d like to continue with the theme of the four requisites and the material realm in which we live. On a certain level, looking after the requisites is really basic, just putting things away. Take responsibility for the requisites. Make sure that tools get put back into the place where you found them, rather than leaving them out for other people to put away. Cultivate the attitude of being circumspect and careful with things so that other people don’t have to pick up or clean up after you. Take responsibility for putting things in their proper place. It’s a similar situation in the kitchen—just putting a used dish into the sink doesn’t magically make it clean and placed back in the cupboard again. Somebody has to do that. Everybody should take responsibility and clean things up. If you see something that is out of place or hasn’t been done, don’t just walk past it and leave it for somebody else. Rather, take the responsibility and initiative to be helpful. If everybody learns to take responsibility, then it’s not a burden. It’s just an aspect of mindfulness, taking the time to attend to what one is doing and what needs to be done in the present moment—looking after the requisites and material things that we have to rely on for our day-to-day existence. When in a monastery, in the human realm or wherever, you have to rely on physical things. Learn to make them an object of attention and mindfulness and use them to hone your skills of being present, not forgetting, and being considerate–that’s compassion. We can sit in meditation and generate loving kindness and compassion for all the beings in the world, then get up and not even be attentive enough to look after things so that other people don’t have to pick up after us. Learn how to incorporate looking after the requisites into the day-to-day practice of mindfulness and cultivation of skillful qualities, and the material realm will become more harmonious and pleasant in which to live, as well.