A book that I consult occasionally is 365 TAO ~ Daily Meditations by Deng Ming-Dao. The entry on page 362 is called "Emptiness" and is followed by the phrase: "Dust cannot gather If there is no mirror there. It is impossible to live in this world and not be sullied by it. The red dust will settle on you no matter how often you clean. It is good to strive for purity but if you conceive of purity as a fight against the filth and the dust of the world, you doom yourself to obsession and futility. The only way to achieve actual purity is to realize your essential oneness with all things. If you are one with everything, then even filth is pure. ...you must transcend all distinctions in yourself, resolve all contradictions. With this erasure, the mirror-bright soul and the dust are all dissolved in a single purity."
Friends are coming for egg nog and hors d'oeuvres tomorrow afternoon and I've been tidying up the house. We live in the high desert where wind blows dust around all day. It's impossible to keep surfaces dust-free for even a few minutes. After years of "obsession and futility," I gave up and now find it's easier to ignore the dust in favor of embracing family and friends. We will all return to dust eventually.