What are you aware of in this moment? What you are aware of, defines your existence. The search for enlightenment has become more apparent in our society. This search for self-discovery and serenity through a concept or method has been practiced by humankind for unknown time. The Buddha had an insight that we can consider. He wrote: Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water.
Zen also teaches a very similar philosophy about life enlightenment. The Zen quote “When hungry eat, when tired sleep” offers a wisdom that usually causes the mind to erupt in an explosion of assumptions, explanations and the demand to understand. Naturally the exact opposite was intended when this and Buddha’s insight were shared.
What do these examples suggest? We wish to keep it simply; therefore the mind should not actually answer this question. This may sound impossible but my reference to this is based on accepting and allowing what is obvious without interpreting thoughts or emotions. The obvious is as indicated in these quotes; chop wood, carry water, eat when hungry and sleep when you are tired.
Let’s break this down by considering the open portal that can be experienced in these and really in any situation. Enlightenment is the now. It is this instant and it can only ever be this instant. You may say that this statement does not really help you to understand what enlightenment means. Firstly enlightenment, just like this instant of life, is to be experienced not understood or categorized. The moment is always our point of reference. This means staying present and to practice observing the mind clearly.
Chop Wood, be Aware and Live!
What is happening when you chop wood? Obviously you are chopping wood, right? So what is the difference between chopping wood before you are enlightened compared to after enlightenment? The situation itself remains the same but your conscious awareness to what is happening changes considerably.
Therefore the content, in whatever form that may be, is insignificant to the actually experience of the moment. Your state of awareness, clarity and willingness to go beyond the mind are the deciding elements to how anything will be observed. Your state of observation also determines how something unfolds and what will manifest.
It is being in the moment, actually becoming this instance, that will open the passage to enlightenment or not. The mind screams thoughts and emotions of rejection, sadness or frustration when it rains. However universal intelligence welcomes a raindrop as it falls onto the skin and the totality of life is experienced. We become the rain, we become the wind and we witness the consciousness of everything through this one drop of rain. One is of universal significance in the experience of life.