How much of our lives pass us by and is wasted because we exist on auto-pilot? Most of us are either focused on the past or future and are not aware of what we are doing most of the time. Our modern (American) lives are so hectic and fast paced that our diets and sleep patterns leave many of us in a haze. I am reminded of a Zen parable…..
After ten years of apprenticeship, Tenno achieved the rank of Zen teacher. One rainy day, he went to visit the famous master Nan-in. When he walked in, the master greeted him with a question, “Did you leave your wooden clogs and umbrella on the porch?”
“Yes,” Tenno replied.
“Tell me,” the master continued, “did you place your umbrella to the left of your shoes, or to the right?”
Tenno did not know the answer, and realized that he had not yet attained full awareness. So he became Nan-in’s apprentice and studied under him for ten more years.
Can you imagine living a life where you were aware of every moment?