Chop Wood Carry Water is practice in everyday life. And this phrase deeply communicates the meaning of the fruit of practice. What are we doing in yoga? Is a common question, are we seeking enlightenment? What is all this for? I’m a believer in realization not necessarily enlightenment— maybe we already are enlightened, maybe we are already Awake in our lives— we jut haven’t realized it because we keep searching for the unattainable.
Ordinary life includes spending time with friends and family, jobs and traffic, preparing dinner, washing dishes, changing diapers, cleaning toilets. Many times we are avoiding ordinary life in the search for extraordinary life— always searching for something bigger “out there” in the newest self help book, in the one night stand relationship, the fad diet. We search and search trying to find something to satisfy us because we perceive that “ordinary life” is boring— not Facebook or Instagram worthy— after all if doesn’t happen on Facebook — it clearly didn’t happen.
The fruit of a life of Practice is that we can genuinely enjoy the ordinariness of all things as they are; not having fireworks moments of instant gratification. The capacity of being in relationship, would be the fruit of practice— not the search for the oxytocin hit around every corner.
The fruit of practice is not commonly spectacular, glamorous, or even noticed by the majority of people in your life, it cannot be translated to Facebook or Instagram— it is the result of the ability to live in integrity and be of service to the world. I want to be in service to the world—not in an Instagram post, but as being a radiant, steady light that transmits to others— I don’t need constant recognition— I want to offer healthy relationships and to do that, I have to be imbedded in the Work.
Fearlessness is a fruit of Practice— One powerful experience of clearly seeing what it means to live fully awake— life is more than the safe bubble we have surrounded ourselves with— I want to be challenged, not coddled — I want to practice because in the practice of my life is my Organic Innocence— and within my Organic Innocent I can then offer to the world fully my heart open, awake and genuine.
My heart is my gift to others— not my neurosis— I become a gift to others if I relax into my ordinary life not try to dress it up— the dressing it up has me forget to chop wood and carry water and I freeze and dehydrate in every relationship- Every facet of life in Practice must reflects maturity— even the casual grocery store interaction, bank transaction or TSA conversation is an opportunity to practice the skill of awakening to everyday life— we become attractive because we are relaxed and comfortable in our own skin. Life becomes more intimate. My relationships become more intimate— Intimacy is a priority that is not served by our self important need to be right— I relax, I breathe I settle and I surrender into myself— Organic Innocence— becomes intimacy. Intimacy for the sake of relationship helps me to Remember Myself and then I become available to the embrace of here and now….. here and now ordinary moment that quilts itself into the tapestry of my life.
My teacher Lee says, stop looking for the next big thing— you might, right now, be it!