29 August 2000
Getting my daily entries up and online is more difficult than I thought it would be. It's been a week since I've had time to turn on the computer here at home and make any attempt at transcription. Rats.
I know. You're thinking I have computer access at work, and I could steal a few minutes to make journal entries, but you're wrong. First of all, my conscience would bother me (because at work one is supposed to work); and second, there isn't any time at work when I don't have actual work that must be done-- except at the farm stand in the evenings. After I've swept the floor, and watered the plants, and culled the fruits and vegetables, and cleaned out the corn bin, there's plenty of time. But there isn't any computer. However, I do have time then to practice t'ai chi, and write in my paper journal in between waiting on customers and just shooting the breeze with folks. And that's what I've been doing. I do have journal entries that need transcription.
Today, I'm taking some time for this. I've set the timer for 35 minutes. When the timer goes off, I'll end this and go practice t'ai chi. It's important to me. More important that I thought it would be. I wish I knew why...
Maybe I just need something to feel passionately about-- no. This isn't a neurotic manifestation...
Now that I think about it, I believe it's the other way around. The t'ai chi is stirring up my passion, stirring me up so that I'm feeling again--
Damn. There goes the timer. I've got to go practice. But I promise I'll tell you about the blueberries-- and about the heron, and a whole bunch of stuff as soon as I can make the time. And I will.
There's a zen teaching that has been niggling at me for weeks:
The zen student goes to the Master and says, "I have meditated, and practiced, and done all you required of me. Now what shall I do, Master?"
I remembered this teaching from the first time I read it. That's because it reminded me of all the times I'd say to Ma, "There's nothing to do," and she'd say something like, "Why don't you vacuum?" That always drove me nuts. I wanted something to do, for crying out soup. And all of my life since I've been wanting something to do, and I've been looking for that something for a very long time, in many different places, amongst many different disciplines, spiritual and practical, and I've been quite impatient-- not to mention frustrated-- with always being told, metaphorically, to "go vacuum."
"Have you eaten?" asked the Master.
"Yes," replied the student.
"Then wash your bowl."
But, just a little while ago, I was down in the basement folding clothes, and it came to me: Like Dorothy, I've been looking in the wrong places. It's not about lifting one's self above and beyond mundane life, it's about... it's about vacuuming. And folding clothes. And being here, and now, and joying in where I am and what I'm doing, and what I have to do. It's about digging in and loving the life I'm living. Not about escaping from boredom--
Geez. Who knew Ma was a Zen Master?
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