Another Monday is upon us. It's time for most people -- perhaps save for theatre folk -- to head back to work. Back to our routines. ... Sigh. ... Or maybe not?
Undoubtedly you've heard the oft-quoted Zen saying:
Before Enlightenment, I chop wood and carry water.
After Enlightenment, I chop wood and carry water.
I believe this pithy phrase wisely suggests that engaging in the simplest acts -- chopping wood and carrying water -- can be a pathway towards enlightenment.
I also believe it is suggesting that although Enlightenment may be the goal, it's not where we should be putting our attention. Rather, we should put it on doing the simplest things that are laying right in front of us. Doing so, lightens us up.
Also, having routines is an anchor for us. Our routines help us to order our worlds in a way that helps us to negotiate through it with ease and grace.
The Buddha is said to have attained Enlightenment at age 35. He lived into his 80's. Undoubtedly the Buddha himself continued to practice meditation - continued chopping wood and carrying water -- even after he became Awakened.
Maybe in this lifetime, through your own regular yoga and meditation practices, you'll attain Enlightenment. Still, to maintain it, you'll still have to keep practicing both.
Like the moon, keep showing up daily.
May you chop wood and carry water, ... for the benefit of all beings.
May you make it through another Monday with Grace.
aloha, with metta,