September 8, 2011

What makes a “Home”?

Dumpster living for your modern Oscar the Grouch.

Luxury living…in a dumpster.

I’d venture to say the obvious answer is, in this case, you know, legroom. And being able to stand up is nice, too.

But then we might disagree: after all, some of our fondest memories of home are rooted in our time camping in tents, where there weren’t “granite countertops, hardwood floors, commercial kitchen, stainless steel appliances…” as in this here luxury dumpster.

In the Buddhist tradition, one explores the fact of “shunyata” or emptiness by breaking down (mentally) various seemingly solid objects. What’s a table? Is a table still a table if you take away one leg? Two legs? The top? Where does “tableness” reside? You can’t locate it anywhere. You can go through the same process with a car. What makes a car a car? Is a car a car if you take away the steering wheel? The tires?

What makes a home a home? Love? Or a roof? Or both love and a roof? What is love?

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