Chop Wood Carry Water

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Opera Riot 2 years ago


Opera RiotAfter the Ecstasy, the Laundry

There is a saying, “Before elightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.”

I’m picked up a couple of Jack Kornfield books at work, and right now I’m reading After the Ecstasy, the Laundry. The book is a nudge to Western Buddhists who’ve been bowled over by larger-than-life happily-ever-after enlightenment stories; in reality, we all have moments of clarity, but even deeply profound insight doesn’t smooth out life from there-on after.

Perhaps this description makes it sound like a dreary book, but the point is to dispel that particular myth (i.e. that some special people become permanently radiant, super-human, Buddha-beings and live in peace forever after), as it too often discourages people from connecting to their own spirit. Without the happily-ever-after trappings, it’s much easier to see one’s own path, with all it’s bumps and scrapes, as sacred.

The writing it very beautiful, and is reinvigorating my commitment to my own practice. 23 months ago


Kalibebti 2 years ago


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