MKE Week 4 MKE Chop Wood, Carry Water

Zen came about in China during the 6th century. So it has been around for a little while.

These teachings and quotes found their way into different cultures, but they sometimes come across as nonsensical phrases meant to sound obscure. 

“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.

After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

Do you get caught up with the end results of what we’re working toward or the way things will be when we finally achieve something? Taking the journey can sometimes be scary and we all start with good intention. What I love about the Master Key Experience is that we get to experience a version of self-awareness today.  I know for me the Journey into self-has been lifelong, yet there have been moments where I have just put my journey on the side and lived in the world.  Somehow, I think that is the true test of what we have learned.

Many years ago I was in Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment with J Z KNIGHT.  As I was spending days and months learning about God, life, quantum physics, soul mates and so many other wonderful teachings. The thing that stuck the out the most was Self-Love.  We could unlock the keys to the universe, however, the foundation of Ramtha’s teaching was that LOVE was the cosmic glue that held everything together.

I never forgot those teachings. I was not very good at loving myself, however, I did have a deep capacity to love others.  I didn’t understand at the time the Law of Correspondence, from within so without.  However, one day on my journey I heard Ramtha say something that Ill never forget. He said… when you can walk from my audience and be the god-within, then you have received my message.  It’s not gurus and teachers that give us what we are seeking. They are the guides. We already know most of it. We just need to awaken ourselves. I guarantee you already know what it is that makes you happy. But yet most of us resist our happiness.

What is it that we chase that is so elusive, we can’t have it right now?  What keeps us for tapping into it.  Is it FEAR? , Uncertainty? Lack of Knowledge?  These things are all illusions. They serve no purpose.  Everything we want is right here right now, we just need to put the key in the door and open it. Change your perspective!

But the truth is that getting to where you want to go or being successful doesn’t mean that the work that leads you there goes away. Achieving your version of “enlightenment” is not an endpoint in and of itself. You’ll need to do the same things after in order to keep moving forward.

It’s been said that “the way do anything is the way we do everything”, and whether you agree with it or not, the message is clear. Life is about being in the moment.

When we are able to be in the moment, we no longer feel compelled to watch the clock. Whatever you are doing now,  close your eyes and be still in it. When you are fully present, you may find that your labor is no longer a burden. This is a lesson I have not fully embraced, yet I know it.  Wood is chopped. Water is carried. Life happens.

Practicing mindfulness allows us to focus on the present work at hand. This helps us to develop betters habits of always doing your best. It’s odd, sometimes it’s better to just do nothing.  In our busy lives, we become so focused on action and productivity it paralyzes us as if our world would stop moving if we stopped moving.

In last weeks lesson, I was going through overwhelming stress and realized I wasn’t having fun or enjoying the process. After listening to Mark and hearing about what others were going through, it made it clear that I was trying to make the experience perfect and my EGO was controlling my process. Here’s the strange part, I know better, yet I let my humanness get the best of me.

I realized whether I was here or not, the MKE experience goes on. The world goes on fine without my actions, and it goes on fine without me.  Instead, I was reacting to the world around me and had to just stop and do nothing,  do nothing at all. I was wasting my energy running around trying to figure out how I was going to get this all in and complete it.  I was so stuck in my outcome, I forgot the process.  I had to get my press release done, finish my DMP and all these rackets firing off at my brain.  Stop banging your head against a keyboard and remember that sometimes it’s about letting things happen, not making them happen. As another Zen proverb explains, “the quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.”

I read this story about a young monk that I think sums up my Blog…

“Chop wood and carry water”

A young boy becomes a monk. He dreamed of enlightenment and of learning great things. When he got to the monastery he was told that each morning he had to chop wood for the monk’s fires and then carry water up to the monastery for ablutions and the kitchen. He attended prayers and meditation, but the teaching he was given was rather sparse.

One day he was told to take some tea to the Abbot in his chambers. He did so and the Abbot saw he looked sad and asked him why.  He replied every day all I do is chop wood and carry water. I want to learn. I want to understand things. I want to be great one day, like you.

The Abbot gestured to the scrolls on shelves lining the walls. He said, “When I started I was like you. Every day I would chop wood and carry water. Like you I understood that someone had to do these things, but like you, I wanted to move forward. Eventually, I did. I read all of the scrolls, I met with Kings and gave counsel. I became the Abbot. Now, I understand that the key to everything is that everything is, chopping wood and carrying water.’ and that if one does everything mindfully then it is all the same.”

“When we open awareness to the tasks in our lives they become lighter. When we are able to be in the moment, we no longer feel compelled to watch the clock. Whatever your work might be, bring all of yourself to it. When you are fully present, you may find that your labor is no longer a burden. Wood is chopped. Water is carried. Life happens.”




6 thoughts on “MKE Week 4 MKE Chop Wood, Carry Water

  1. Loved reading your blog David. There is such a simple message and you are right, in today’s world, we have so many thoughts fighting for our attention. It is when we are in the stillness that the silence allows our truest desires and direction to be heard and it happens in a flash of light. This is what we are learning to be able to hear by re-conditioning our minds so we are the ones in control and not the happenings of the world in which we abide.

    Thank you for your blog

  2. Hi David, love your blog. You have a way with words. And thank you, your blog is exactly what I needed to read today 🙂

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