Someone who came to zazen last night said something that has bearing on the last post about service - and also on the debate we had some months ago about missionary activity.
To recap that debate, some thought you should meditate lots yourself so you become deeply fine and that this would both set an example to others and make one better company for the rest of the planet; others (a minority on this blog) felt part of the Bodhisattva path lay in sharing those techniques with anyone who showed even the slightest willingness to listen. Spiritual hermits v Buddha's Witnesses.
Last night a lady came to meditate who hadn't sat with the group for three years. Three years ago I put on my Buddha's Witnesses hat and did a leaflet drop of the neighbourhood. She took a zazen lesson, sat a couple of times with the group, then disappeared. A-ha! Kaishin clearly a rubbish meditation teacher! He should not be teaching but still should be sitting on his own, perfecting himself!
Yeah, true about me not being up there with the Dalai Lama. BUT...
What happened is she met at zazen a vipassaana practitioner, who gave her a leaflet. Now, despite my limitations as a teacher, the taste she got of the fruits of meditation was enough to make her want more, so she took up the leaflet's offer of a free 10 day retreat. Three years on and she's been there more than once and meditation is the rock upon which her life is founded.
So you don't have to be able to levitate before you teach people to meditate. Clearly I have flaws as a teacher and/or zendo leader, or she'd have stayed with "my" group. However, the karmic fruit of introducing her to the meditation scene was very great. Just think - if I'd been terribly modest and NOT posted those "come and learn" leaflets, if I'd worried whether I was yet perfect enough - that positive change in her life wouldn't have happened.
So if you're not dipping your toe in the lake for fear you're not pure enough, think about the wonderful karmic ripples you could be setting in motion...but are not.