Chop Wood, Carry Water

Zen Proverb: “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” Much has been written about the meaning of that Zen proverb. Today, I see the message as my reminder that all of life is lived only in the present moment. Enlightenment is not a destination, it is found in every “now.” It is constant practice in the simplicity of focusing in this moment. Instead, we tend to live in the future or the past . . . in our heads. It’s so easy to get lost. When I am focusing on the future, my unconscious serves me up some fear. This is not new, except there is just more of it these days, and it’s worse because I am alone with it, without him and all that he bro

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