Enlightenment in a Snow Shovel.

Via on Dec 9, 2009

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You have probably heard the Buddhist quotation, “Before enlightenment I carry water and sweep the floor.  After enlightenment I carry water and sweep the floor.”

For me it’s shoveling snow.  I used to hate shoveling snow.

The new Yoga me loves shoveling snow, is ecstatic shoveling snow.

I love the feel of bundling up and putting on my Norwegian ski cap.  I notice all the little details, like the snowflake pattern on the cap.  I love the bracing cold that hits my face as I step outside onto the driveway.  I love the feel of the shovel in my hands as I pick it off the rack in the garage.  I relish the Currier and Ives winter scene before me.

I enjoy the distinctive sound of the shovel as it scrapes across the pavement.  I love the way the snow parts on either side of the shovel.  I think about each individual snowflake and each individual atom making up each snowflake.

I marvel at the complexity of the movements of my body as it effortlessly and unthinkingly walks and turns and bends and throws and lifts.  I feel the blood quickening through my arteries as it rushes to supply my muscles with fuel.

I feel the satisfaction of accomplishment as I clear more and more of the driveway.  I finally go to where the driveway meets the street and happily do the much harder work of lifting the thicker, wetter, icier snow that accumulates there.

I love the powerful presence of the city snow truck as it plows by and dumps a foot of snow from the street back onto the end of my driveway — WAIT A MINUTE.  There are limits to this Yoga stuff.  I really don’t like that!

~

See also

Yoga Demystified: The Six Big Ideas.

Yoga Demystified: Poems and  Articles.

Gita in a Nutshell:
Big Ideas & Best Quotations.

About Bob Weisenberg

Bob Weisenberg: Editor, Best of Yoga Philosophy / Former Assoc. Publisher, elephant journal / Author: Yoga Demystified * Bhagavad Gita in a Nutshell * Leadership Is Like Tennis, Not Egyptology / Co-editor: Yoga in America (free eBook) / Creator: Gita Talk: Self-paced Online Seminar / Flamenco guitarist: "Live at Don Quijote" & "American Gypsy" (Free CD's) / Follow Bob on facebook, Twitter, or his main site: Wordpress.

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8 Responses to “Enlightenment in a Snow Shovel.”

  1. yeah the huge mound blocking the end of the driveway is maybe taking this zen like appreciation of shoveling a little too far…but I love all the body awareness and sense of presence you have expressed in the simple (yet hard work) of snow shoveling…and I'm so grateful that it's MY HUSBANDS job to deal with our lengthy, uphill driveway.

    laura

  2. Thanks, Laura.

    Bob W.

  3. Moogmama says:

    Being disabled, I would love to be able to once again shovel snow. I love your descriptions of the process. I watched my apartment neighbor shoveling our parking lot, cleaning off everyone's cars, sweeping the front porches and shoveling the front sidewalks. He really enjoyed it. He piled up the snow around the evergreens to make snow caves for the rabbits and scattered carrots.

    I would have loved to help.

  4. Thanks, Moogmama. That's a very beautiful comment.

    Bob W.

  5. Lady Fi says:

    Snow is magical… I find that shovelling hurts my back but I do love being outside in the snow.

    THanks for a great post!

  6. Just a small smiler to spread the good words and thank you for your great site

    Veni, vedi, visa. I came. I saw. I did a little shopping. :)

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