My friend Jim Roberts emailed me this quote from Master Hua, a founder of Chan Buddhism in the West:
Those in search of the Way should bear this in mind: "I will pick up what others discard." What others do not want, I want; what others will not eat, I will eat; what others will not suffer, I will suffer; what others will not tolerate, I will tolerate; what others will not permit, I will permit; what others will not do, I will do. If you want to support others, you must do it from below. "Seeking the Way from a lower place" means starting from below, not standing up at the top of the mountain. You will never see the Way from the top of Mount Sumeru; but when you are at the very bottom of Mount Sumeru, there you will find the Way.
Jim says this reminds him of street retreat. Yes. Here's my friend Shōin collecting cans during a street retreat last year:
This non-rejecting mind, this mind of spiritual poverty, is the muscle we're training when we're on the street.