Chopping Wood – A Proverb

Happy Friday Omyoga blog followers and readers. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your visit. I appreciate you! Today, I would like to shed light on a popular Zen saying about enlightenment: First, chop wood. Second, attain enlightenment. Third, chop wood. What this little riddle is saying is this: enlightenment does not change the physical world around us. It only changes us from within. We still must rise each day and attend to our daily business, whatever that may be. However, with enlightenment, HOW we see others and how we interact with others will then be with more love and compassion and awareness. For my path of Vedanta, the same holds true. Before I knew about OM, I was engaged in typical life activities – work, entertainment, travel, bills, responsibilities, and more. Today, the same is true. Today, I know about OM. I chant it each day. I read about it by reading what great masters have written (like the tremendous books by Swami Sivanananda). I still must “chop wood” as the Zen saying goes. So, that is life, from the vantage point of its relationship with enlightenment. Even after Buddha achieved enlightenment, he returned to society to preach and pray. We must all strive for enlightenment, but we must also be prepared to embrace life as it is after becoming well situated in our spiritual practice. Namaste.

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