“Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.” ~Zen proverb

Leo Babauta wrote the post. Follow me on Twitter or identical.

In the chaos of the modern world, there is beauty in simply doing.

We’re buffeted wildly by whatever emails, conversations, news, events, demands that are going on around us. As a result, our minds become a constant deluge of thoughts dwelling on the past, worries about the future, and distractions pulling us in every direction.

But all of that melts away when we focus on just doing.

It doesn’t matter what they are doing: sitting, walking, writing, reading, eating, washing, talking, snuggling, playing. We drop our worries and anxieties, jealousies and anger, grieving and distraction by focusing on the doing.

There is something profound in that simplicity. Something ultimately heart-rendingly breathtakingly gorgeous.

“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.” ~Zen proverb

You are in the middle of your day today, and you’re caught up in the sandstorm of thoughts, feelings, to-dos, meetings, readings, and communications of this day.

Pause. Breathe. Let all of that fade.

Now focus on doing one thing, right now. Just choose one thing, and clear away all other distractions. Seriously, clear it all away. Turn off your Internet. Stop reading this article (OK, read a couple more sentences, then close your browser!).

Let all thoughts about anything other than the doing also fade away. They’ll come up, but gently note them and then let them go. And return to the doing.

If you’re washing a dish, do it slowly, and feel every sensation. If you’re eating a fruit, taste it, feel the textures, and be mindful of your hunger or lack of it. If you’re writing something, pour your heart into that writing, become the writing, and inhabit the words.

Just do.

The rest of the world becomes a meaningless distraction. It’s just you, and you’re doing.

And you realize: this is all that matters. In this, there is everything.

“Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.” ~Shunryu Suzuki

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