Pure Zen

“Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After Enlightenment chop wood, carry water.”

I’m often at war with my ego.

You know, that stupid voice that stands in the way of accepting this moment, fully.

Don’t ask me why, but the moment I feel it walk on stage — “I’ll ‘ave you Summerhayes” — I surrender to the above expression.

It’s not immediate, but in repeating the expression over and over, I’m brought back (a) to my breath and (b) the resonance of this moment — ethereal, abundant and all-encompassing.

Of course this is off the Woo Woo scale (“…he’s lost the plot this time!”) but actually, it’s nothing of the sort.

We all know when life’s out of whack with reality. It hurts.

In my case, my ego loves to argue; it loves to pick a whole in your thesis; and it chides me if I’m not working my but off.

And if I’m not careful it can easily get in the way of life…

(Don’t tell me your life is so perfect that you too don’t feel the tug of this malevolent foe?)

Anyhow, I’m not trying to fix anything — the ego is part of who we are — but I am trying to escape the constant stress and strain when I don’t see things as they really are.

Chop wood, carry water. Let that be your guide for the rest of your life.

Photo by Masaaki Komori on Unsplash