Chop Wood | Carry Water | Play Gongs - Part 1



Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water.  After enlightenment chop wood, carry water. - Zen Proverb

A simple proverb with a profound message: even after becoming enlightened, life goes on. This means the mundane, everyday tasks, such as chopping wood and carrying water. For even when we are enlightened, the wood will not chop itself, and the water will not carry itself.

So too with the Gong. We may play 10, 20, even 50 years, but are we ever a Gong Master? Does it ever become so that the Gong plays itself? No. And we must still approach and play the Gong, surrendering ourself, surrenduring our ego to the sound. For we are never a Master, only a student of the Gong. As soon as we think we know something, know enough, the Gong will show us more. It is always this way, like an ever opening Lotus flower, the Gong reveals more each time we play it.


Enlightenment is not a one time event. We must seek to become enlightened everyday. ~ Singal Rinpoche

~MB
Chop Wood | Carry Water | Play Gongs

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