There is a Zen saying, “Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.”
What is the spiritual value of chopping wood and carrying water?
When we rely on our own will, our ability to create and do something with our hands, we tap into the fundamental energies available to us by living here on earth. These primary energies support us in many ways; physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It is essential, in fact, to connect with these energies to gain full enlightenment. Although we have made incredible industrial and technological advancements as humans, our over-dependence on the multitude of modern conveniences has restricted our ability to receive the gifts of these elemental forces.
Our spiritual ascension into higher realms of consciousness is deeply linked to how we live on earth. We can spend a majority of our time meditating, reading spiritual books, and attending church, but this is only a fraction of our work. As whole beings, we are most in alignment when we actively bring love and consciousness to all areas of our lives. Living mindfully into the basic and mundane aspects of life is an important part of our awakening.
When we look at the greater spiritual picture, right now many of us are experiencing challenges in the areas represented by our lowest chakras – our primal connections to living on earth in human form. Money, our need and ability to work, our connection to earth and our “survival” are areas of focus in this phase of our evolutionary process. We are “cleaning house” so to speak and this, more often than not, can be uncomfortably messy and hard to do.