Monday, May 24, 2010

Eternity in the Laundry

After the Ecstasy, the Laundry. That is the title of a book I’m reading right now by Jack Kornfield. Isn’t that a great title? I last wrote about being present in moments of beauty and rapture. But what about all those other moments?

People climb to mountain summits, but they don’t live there. When I fell off the ladder into bliss, I couldn’t stay there (Falling into Now). If eternity is in the present moment, is it only in moments of amazing joy? Or in all our other moments as well.

Denzel Washington tells the story of going to visit his mother after winning an Oscar. He was feeling pretty full of himself. He walked in the door expecting her to profess her awe and pride, and to treat him like the star he felt himself to be. What did she say? “The trash needs taking out.” I love the way he tells this story with a good laugh at himself and affection for a mother who loves him enough to remind him to be humble.

Many of us look for something special. We seek to escape from our everyday lives into spiritual satori. Maybe we only feel connected to the divine if we are in deep meditation, or walking by the ocean, or in an ashram in India. People travel all over the world seeking enlightenment, some evidence of arrival – yes I have made it. I am enlightened. See? I can levitate. I know I am saved because I said these words. Whatever.

If you saw the movie The Karate Kid, you might remember the scene where the master has agreed to teach the boy martial arts. The boy shows up ready to be initiated into the inner circle, to belong to the exclusive club. What does the master have him do? Wax the car. He demonstrates. “Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to meditate for hours, or to turn my life over to a master, no matter how wise. So what hope is there for me?

The good news is that we don’t have to do that. Our spiritual practice is what we are doing right now. This is it. I’m sitting here writing something for my blog. Later I will in fact do the laundry. I will take the dog for a walk. I will go to the grocery store. These are not times away from God. Wherever I am is holy ground. Whatever I am doing is sacred. Holding back and waiting for those “special times” is fantasy. Life is here in this moment. Eternity is here in this moment. Indeed, that is the only place it is.

Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off.

1 comment:

  1. An inspiring post. Indeed, it is all prayer of some kind.
    Thanks for stopping in at my place. -J


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