The essence of living a spiritual life is contained in the Zen quote “when hungry eat, when tired sleep.” Now before your mind reacts and you say to yourself….’Gee thanks for that incredibly obvious piece of wisdom.’ Look at this quote more closely, along with the initial passage above ‘before enlightenment chop wood, carry water…after enlightenment chop wood, carry water.’ Break life down into the simplicity of the present moment. As human beings we do not live in the present moment. We carry our past forward with us, we yearn for something in the future and all the time we miss what is in front of us at all times. Life is beautiful right in front of us at every moment. Focusing on this moment right now removes the mind from drifting to wants, needs, desires….all driven by the mind in search of attachment. With attachment comes suffering. When I am in the mind-set of when hungry eat, when tired sleep I am fully present to the simple needs I actually have to survive and I am present to life AS it is happening. I can see a child’s smile across the park. I can see the bird in the tree. I can smell the lilac tree as I run by. I can feel the rain on my skin and the presence of the divine in every moment….excerpted from zenrevolution blog
i am in the smack dab in the middle of not knowing and i must rely on my what i have learned about staying sane. not knowing what is next has traditionally been a source of high anxiety for me. ego has always insisted that i pretend i am running the show and making the decisions. i have always believed ego mostly because there was no other opinion to dispute that.
but with recovery has come this understanding that not only do i not run the show, but that the really schizy part where i don’t know what is to happen is a ground zero of sorts for me to learn more about myself and my way of living in the world. unknowing affords me the opportunity to be humble and grow. (both of these are highly distasteful to ego, btw)
and on this final week in july of 2014 i am resting in the hammock of not knowing trying not to bite off more than i can chew. i yearn to run the show- or at least pretend i do. yet i do my best to resist acting as a child might and trust in the process.
this is the only way i can remain grounded and level-headed- and believe me- that’s not an easy task. but the promises continue to come true. why fight evidence-based practices? and if i don’t get what i think i want i will have to live with it. and if i do get what i want i will have to live with that. until then- i will cover my ears and go la-la-la
The AA Promises
1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed
before we are half way through.
2. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
3. matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience
can benefit others.
4. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
5.We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
8. Self-seeking will slip away.
9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
12. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us –
sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.
Alcoholics Anonymous p83-84