THE STORY OF HOW WE GET TO ENLIGHTENMENT IS CHOP WOOD AND CARRY STICKS.
There is a Buddhist saying that enlightenment comes as one chop wood and carries sticks. And after we reach enlightenment we continue to chop wood and carry sticks.
The story is that the young monk was seeking enlightenment. So he sought out the elder monk to ask him how he would get to enlightenment. The elder monk told him to go chop wood and carry sticks.
So the young monk being drawn to the state of enlightenment does just that. He chops wood and carries sticks for the comfort of the other monks to be warm. He continues to do this for months.
Finally he stops the elder monk and desperately asks, Now what do I do to reach enlightenment? And the elder monk replies, chop wood and carry sticks.
The young monk was very crestfallen. How can I possibly become great if all I do is chop wood and carry sticks?
The elder monk replied, when you chop wood and carry sticks in complete mindfulness that is the key to anything in your life. If we stay in mindfulness we will be presented with all that we need to learn and see.
So go , chop wood and carry sticks.
I really love this simple profoundness. To me it means that no matter what we are doing, we still need to do the most basic of tasks of knowing our higher self.
Our journey is not about reaching the end result, but rather how we chop wood and carry sticks.
In other words we take ourselves where ever we go. Doing the tasks are the path. Doing the tasks in complete mindfulness is the enlightenment.
In doing the tasks we are to be in the utmost present of that moment. It is the essence of mindfulness. It is the presence of higher love.
It is so awesome and simple it is crazy.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Did we indeed chop wood and carry sticks?
Yesterday I might have chopped wood and carried sticks, but today when I chop wood and carry sticks my mind is not jumbled or preoccupied. I am in peace and mindfulness doing the simplest of all needed tasks.
So there is a huge shift in consciousness. No one else might even notice it. But we have become in higher consciousness in true internal awareness of our true authentic self. Therefore allowing for enlightenment.
Imagine that every task we strive to deal with, we allow our full attention. Once we have embarked on the knowing of what our true mind and selves are everything we do is imbued with our love and mindfulness.
Do we ever really pay attention to our moments or are we absently hurrying from one task to another?
I think of that as we multi task and interface on our social media, phones or computers. Are we really being the very best of our higher self?
How do you choose to chop wood and carry sticks?
I think as we ponder the concept of enlightenment, there is also this fable telling us that what we seek is truly just in front of us.
It is our choice to see it and step into it.
And it is starting to dawn on me that living enlightenment is far easier than we thought. It is not about being above the clouds at all times. It is indeed being in the beautiful mindfulness of just this moment.
And when we are able to live in that space of complete mindfulness we no longer live in the separation of the physical and the spiritual.
After all, if we lose our mindfulness we are no longer connected to that awareness space of walking in prayer and mindfulness.
And we are really knowing when we are in mindfulness. We feel that heightened sense of knowing that we are truly in the moment.
Do you know what I mean? We are so engrossed in the beauty of the interaction that nothing else exists. It is like watching a sunset. We are so mindful of its every move. Nothing else consumes our attention.
That rapt holding or our thoughts and attention is truly being mindful. Or the sweet hug of a close friend. We feel and connect totally at that moment. Or the curiosity of a young child asking a question. We know we are holding our attention to every detail .
In those moments, we are prayerful. At those times we live in a sacred space that fills our hearts and empties our thoughts. It is the sanctity of mindfulness.
So for all of us, when we step into this space, we are not only changing and altering our own hearts. We are also including all those around us. For they see that we are truly listening, seeing and compassionately loving them.
That to me it truly enlightenment.
What are your thoughts?
In peace and gratitude,
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