“After Enlightenment, Chop Wood Carry Water”
What on earth does this mean? You might ask, but I will not be lured in to explaining Zen Principles for this would be without ‘point’. I will say it is very easy to get caught up in the point of all the effort and lunacy or to begin to live in that future ‘perfect’ place, you know – when we get there.
Truth be told achieving your version of “enlightenment” is somewhat anti-climactic and not itself a reason for being. I have discovered that the business of living is the same as it was before – I reached “the end”. This can oddly be both devastating and reassuring to discover I am not in fact the second coming of Christ. Phew! The pressure – nay – the hemorrhoid!
If Zen Philosophy was a person with a point and a purpose, then – I have heard ‘them’ say more or less “the way a person does one thing is the way they do everything”. It is a bit like saying your true nature or the essence of your being is revealed in every act you well ‘do’. How do you wash those dishes? Avoid that argument? Avoid … yourself?
Agree or not, the message is clear. If you can’t be with or cope with the little things, the minutiae they call them, how could you conquer the big things? The answer is revealed in the way you do … anything and everything.