Almost every culture, religion, ideology, or world-view holds some things as sacred, pure, holy, or unquestionably true—and others as profane, unclean, or taboo. Among the few exceptions are Zen and Dzogchen. They hold that there is nothing that is inherently sacred. (This ought to be an obvious consequence of the Heart Sutra—but most Buddhists do not see it that way.) If you spend enough time with Zen or Dzogchen teachers, it is certain that they will at some point roast your sacred cows—whatever they are. Because nothing is inherently sacred, anything and everything can be experienced as sacred.
What struck me on the beach–and it struck me indeed, so that I staggered as at a blow–was that if the Eternal Principle had rested in that curved thorn I had carried about my neck across so many leagues, and if it now rested in the new thorn (perhaps the same thorn) I had only now put there, then it might rest in everything, in every thorn in every bush, in every drop of water in the sea. The thorn was a sacred Claw because all thorns were sacred Claws; the sand in my boots was sacred sand because it came from a beach of sacred sand. The cenobites treasured up the relics of the sannyasins because the sannyasins had approached the Pancreator. But everything had approached and even touched the Pancreator, because everything had dropped from his hand. Everything was a relic. All the world was a relic. I drew off my boots, that had traveled with me so far, and threw them into the waves that I might not walk shod on holy ground.