My previous post considered the constant connection we have with our world, one more immediate than ever before. There is a continuous buzz of busyness. It can overwhelm one to stillness, this blogger included, so I took a week off from publishing a post.
A break in routine is an opportunity to create a change in the way we live unless the break is just another form of busyness—same behavior just different surroundings or situations.
A true break means we attend to basic requirements only and not carry the world with us so we may meet the mundane as if for the first time, eyes fresh and bright. It requires us to drop what we carry so that we hold only the moment we have.
There is a well-known story of two monks who come to a river where they meet a woman who needs assistance in crossing.
Without a word, one monk picks up the woman and carries her across. She thanks the monk and leaves. The two monks continue on their way, one troubled and one not.
Finally, the troubled monk can stand it no longer and asks, “Why did you carry that woman across the river when you know we are prohibited any contact with women?”
The untroubled monk responds, “I only carried her across the river. You are still carrying her.”
If it is a break we intend, then it is much like residing in the gap between thoughts. In no thought there is no mind just pure consciousness. In a break from our routine, we no longer carry the busyness of everyday. We put it down and rest. When we return to our river of routine we cross, carrying our load again.
For me, this short break from blogging was different than previous ones. It started with a stop. Simultaneously, I dealt with a colorful but significantly sprained toe on my left foot and an aggravated inflammation of my right knee.
I note that the injury to my toe is probably related to increasing lupus inflammation issues but the injury occurred after my trip to the library in search of Zen novels (I found two). In fact, it was after I put down my library load that I stubbed/sprained/jammed my toe.
Resting and reading Zen provided me another perspective on balance both physically and emotionally. Perhaps my knee was more troublesome that particular day as in addition to wandering around the library, I had stocked up on groceries for the week.
My usual routine is either the library or the grocery store but not both yet organic, freshly ground almond butter was on sale, and I had new recipes to try, in particular Zoe’s cookies. I would have to wait most of the week to make them but they were worth every step to get the ingredients. EmmaRose thought so, too.
When not reading, I put down other emotional baggage that tends to clutter my routine, remembering that people really are doing the best they can and there are always options–this is true for me, as well. Sometimes, my routine blinds me to what others face so I do not see what they are carrying.
Now, I return to the river of my routine. I know the moment is all I ever have and that it is more than enough. After all, I only need to carry it to the next moment.