Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > doing and sacrament of present moment


I do what I do ~ living in the center of the Beam

Feb 25, 2020

Together in the Light

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You can access the video via upper-left artist-title below...

A visitor, having heard of the Sage's good deeds, his notoriety for being a blessing to others, visited him, asking, "The local townspeople speak of your reputation for being a blessing to many persons, this even though you spend most of your time here and persons come here to you. I wonder what motivates you. I mean, why do you do what you do?" "I do what I do." "Yes," said the visitor, "I know that, as I said, I've been told of your goodness, but, 'Why do you do what you do?' That is what I asked." The Sage spoke, "As I said before, 'I do what I do.'"

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Alan Watts...

Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.

As we are drawn by Life into Life, we move more and more from the why of doing, to the act of doing. We experience what Christian contemplatives call the Sacrament of the Present Moment. That is, right here, who I am, what I am doing, what I am thinking, whom I am with, Life manifests in all Its glory, God is fully here. Whether peeling potatoes or kneeling in prayer, Grace is present in the doing of our doing.

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May Sarton, in her Journal of a Solitude...

There is really only one possible prayer: Give me to do everything I do in the day with a sense of the sacredness of life. Give me to be in Your presence, God, even though I know it only as absence.

Sarton, again...

I began the day with Vaughn Williams' Mass sung by the King's College choir. There are days when only religious music will do. Under the light of eternity things, the daily trivia, the daily frustrations, all fall away. It is all a matter of getting to the center of the beam.

Living in the beam is in what we are engaged in at any one moment. Yet, as with Sarton, we can do things to heighten a sense of living in the Light. Little in our world encourages this sacred-sensitivity, much distracts from it, so we choose this for ourselves. Then, slowly, we notice a sense of the spirit-of-Things pervades our lives increasingly. This being nothing spectacular, but subtle and abiding.

We cannot name It, It is. We cannot give It a purpose, It is. There is no reason for It, It is. Where is It? It is. What is It doing? It is. Yes, that It is is doing.

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Again, Alan Watts...

There is nothing wrong with meditating just to meditate, in the same way that you listen to music just for the music. If you go to concerts to "get culture" or to improve your mind, you will sit there as deaf as a doorpost.

So, we can engage this just-doing in the spirit-of-Things daily. We can remind ourselves its normal, not ab-normal, to enjoy what we do doing it, without a purpose hanging over it to give it purpose. A purpose may lead to action, yet we can do the action one with the action, the purpose falling away naturally. See, if you love someone, is it for a purpose, like, "I love her to get love from her"? Wanting to be loved, a natural need, may lead one to seek to be loved. Yet, when the purity of Love is loving, the purpose drops away. In pure Loving, Love is and inspires loving. Like the Sage says, "I do what I do."

(C)Brian Wilcox, 2020

*Quotes of Watts, from Akṣapāda. Tao of Alan Watts.


Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > doing and sacrament of present moment

©Brian Wilcox 2020