We all have many goals, some large, some small. Along with the goals come lists of what’s important to do. As we’re doing one thing, we’re often wondering whether we should be doing something else? Or, we only do what we’re doing half heartedly, thinking about what’s coming next down the road. Or what the results of our action will be? There’s a craving to do that which is important, that which will make our day and life worthwhile.
Yet, the Zen saying disagrees. It is actually asking us to focus our full attention on what we are doing right now. It doesn’t matter what. It may be just a routine act, like brushing our teeth, making breakfast, cleaning a pot or taking out the garbage.
These routine acts are often done with a tiny bit of care and attention as we rush to get on to something really important and meaningful. In this way, we lose our very life. Most of life is made up of simple acts that ‘seem” meaningless. But when we do each one with our full heart and attention, something miraculous opens up.
Miraculously, we transcend our notion of progress. We stop the constant judging of ourselves and our days. Our life is no longer then about getting somewhere else, but about fully being where we are now.
When we are fully, completely where we are right now, a sense of wholeness arises. Each moment is seen to be precious and valuable, just as it is. There is no longer a sense of separation from ourselves, from the world, and from what’s truly possible in our lives. We are not endlessly pushing ourselves to get somewhere, but thoroughly appreciating and experiencing where we are right now.
This is the key to the kingdom. This is the way to ease of mind, ease of heart and the end to the bitter struggle most lives have become. When we occupy the very moment fully, what is missing? What more do we need?
Brenda Eshin Shoshanna (212) 288-0028
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