Chop Wood,Carry Water

woman chopping vegetablesOr chop vegetables, carry water. Same thing.
The full zen koan is “Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.”
What does that mean?
I don’t know. But what I hear in it is how simple, practical, and “everyday” insights can be…which is exactly the opposite of how our mind tells us they will be.
To me, it points to the beauty in a regular life. Every bit of a regular life, even the monotonous, practical bits. Even in the pain, even in the boredom.
It points to how ANYTHING can feel like bliss. And anything can feel like torture. We experience life as we are, not as it is. Before “enlightenment”, we have to chop vegetables. After “enlightenment”, we get to chop vegetables.

Become Your Own Habit-Free Success Story!

The Little School of Big Change Self-Study Course!

The Little School of Big Change is a program designed to help you overcome anxiety and unwanted habits without needing to rely on willpower or self-discipline.

Learn More

Get The Just A Thought Introduction and First Chapter for Free

Just a Thought: A No-Willpower Approach to End Self-Doubt and Make Peace with your Mind comes out October 1st. Download the Introduction and Chapter 1 now!

Get the 1st chapter free

Get a Free Student Access Account

Dr. Amy Johnson’s work has helped thousands of people find lasting freedom from unwanted habits and anxiety, and realize deeper meaning and peace of mind. Get access to free resources to help you on your journey by creating a free Student Access account today!

SIGN UP