December 9, 2009

Enlightenment in a Snow Shovel.

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.

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