Tuesday, October 19, 2010

There is a Place Beyond Ambition - October 18, 2010

When the flute players

Couldn’t think of what to say next

They laid down their pipes,

Then they lay down themselves

Beside the river

And just listened.

Some of them, after a while

Jumped up

And disappeared back inside the busy town.

But the rest-

so quiet, not even thoughtful-

are still there,

still listening.

Today is a day "off" for my spouse and myself, as is every Monday unless we are traveling. I look forward to it all week long. On this day we slow down and have the chance to listen to each other, and to the world. Sometimes these days are lazy, and other times they are packed full of stimulating thoughts and activities - much akin to the movie, "Ferris Buehler's Day Off." Today we went birding and just meandered on the trail taking in all the birds and the lovely people watching the birds. This day is our sabbath, a day of rest. By Tuesday morning though we are gearing up for the week and during this time we do struggle to listen and be open to what is, while we are also actors in the world - doing. My goal, my wish, my dream, and my hope is that we listen as we do, and grow my faith and skill in the most difficult action of all - the great "doing" is the "undoing" of our ego by listening.

One of my favorite stories regarding doing nothing is that of Lazy An. . Lazy An was a monk that appeared do nothing all day but sit under a blossom tree and smile. The villagers thought he was crazy or lazy. But what they didn’t notice was his joy in seeing the trees slowly blossom around him and birds alight on his shoulders. So great was his joy that he became a great leader of monks, for as others found through his example permission to be happy and to follow their childhood dreams, they also found that they had an incredible source of energy to care for others.

May this be so, for us all for the sake of all.

How do you "undo" and let go of ambition?

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