My teacher asked me for the measurements to be fitted with novice robes…and then went to Vietnam to get them (ok he was going for a retreat/walkabout is his reason to be there).
It had been really interesting to give someone measurements for a robe and then be without communication; my head and heart have been from WTF to ohm to everything in between.
Today, at least, I’ve come to a place of ease with it because I stopped telling myself stories about what it means. The Platform Sutra talks about our endless stories and getting stuck on them. And the value of thinking, and reflecting, but the danger of being stuck on a thought/idea/concept.
And that is what happened to me. I got stuck in ‘what does this mean’ and instead just carried it around with a gentle grip. I walked into places wondering ‘what would this look like if I was wearing robes’ but realized what I really meant was ‘what would I look like’. So instead, it has been ‘What does this look like through Monks eyes?’. Later, it is ‘What does this look like to a Buddhist’ and then (currently) ‘What does this look like to me, when I don’t have a story that comes with it?’.
From another direction, a friend said, after she recently became a Doctor that she was no different than the person the day before. This is a wise thing. So if someone gives me a robe or calls me a title or when I think “I am what now?” then that doesn’t mean I am not me. I am different but that is all of our nature – each moment we are a bit different than the last.