I mowed my lawn a couple weeks ago on Saturday. There’s nothing unusual about this, except that I didn’t start until after 11. Thanks to some morning cloud cover, the temperature hadn’t climbed into the upper 80’s as it normally does by noon. What I didn’t know was that this was going to be a life altering experience.
Before I get into what happened, I need to give you a little background. The martial art I study has a healing side. The healing work has a basis in Chinese medicine, which has a very different perspective than the western viewpoint. I’ve studied this on and off for a while now, and I’m currently in one of those healing classes. I’ve also been asking the universe to very clearly show me things I need to see. So Saturday while I was mowing the lawn, it did exactly that.
I wish I could say there was some big build up, that I knew something was coming and I was able to slow down or stop until it came. But it doesn’t work that way, at least not for me. I’ll be going along doing the most mundane things, and bam, there it is. The interesting thing was, it wasn’t just one big hit and there it was. As the first revelation settled in, then came the next one. And the next one. Until I knew the answers to the questions I’d asked.
I see my life a lot differently now. I still can’t answer a lot of the ‘big questions’ that people ask, but that’s ok. I know the what and why of a lot of things now. I know why I do the type of work I do, and why it’s not really what I should be doing. I know what I ‘should’ be doing. I think it’s better to say I know what I need to be doing, and why. I see the dynamics behind the relationships I do and don’t have in my life, and why. I see my life in a way I haven’t seen it before, in a way that makes some sense of my life. In the past, my life has seemed to me a series of disconnected events and people. While I have made a lot of my life, my first best destiny is gone. That possibility was over more than 20 years ago, when I didn’t go for what I wanted to in college. regardless, life goes on.
There is a Zen saying, “Before enlightenment, chopping wood, carrying water. After enlightenment, chopping wood, carrying water.” While I can’t say that I’ve been enlightened, I’ve come to understand some things about this saying. Life does go on, enlightened or not. While we live in this world, there will always be things we need to do in order to survive in it. Another big thing – just because you’re enlightened doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of work to do. If anything, it brings more work because now you know what you need to do. Sometimes, that’s far bigger than anything you’ve thought about, or farther outside your comfort zone than anything you’ve ever tried. It feels like finding a path, but then you actually have to walk it, one step at a time. Just like any other path.
Enlightenment – what a trip!