Monday Morning Wake-Up Call (Draw Water. Carry Wood.)


The ordinary moments of our daily life may appear commonplace, but in reality they are not so; they carry enormous significance. To polish a pair of shoes, to serve a helping of apple pie, to break bread, to chop firewood- these can be lordly activities. Any action performed with a sense of reverence, of care and of pleasure, can become what I would call a sacrament. Zen, in particular, lays emphasis on ‘everyday life’ as the real path to the great mystery. One of its Masters, Joshu, replied to a question about the true nature of the Great Way, the Tao, by saying, “Our everyday life, that is the Tao.” It is the worship of the moment’s duration, inviolate, detached, and passionate. It is the observation of the sunlight on a bald of grass, the sight of a beetle crawling across a leaf; the worship of the day’s most commonplace events:

I draw water,
I carry wood,
This is my magic.

~ John Lane, from the “Art of Commonplace” in The Spirit of Silence


Quote: Thank you Make Believe Boutique. Photo: tapioanttilacollection



  1. Absolutely worth reading. And yes, the daily works are never that common the way we think 👍✌

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Having more and more of those moments – and I do feel an element of reverence. And the day immediately gets better, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. each act of daily work is a prayer in itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Add me to the chorus. The older I get, the more I realize that it not every person has to be a headliner. There’s honor and pleasure in a job well done, whether or not you’re a ‘household name.’

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anonymous says:

    Chop wood, carry water. All in the attitude. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Chop wood, carry water! All in the attitude 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I read your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ordinary magic. Perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sent me on a search for a book from my days in Boulder CO. You guessed it! “Chop Wood, Carry Water”. (I found it!)

    Thank you…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. roseanne333 says:

    How I love this, David…”worship of the day’s most commonplace events.”
    Once again, thanks. Hope you’re feeling better. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. When I read this post it reminded me I should be more like young children: In wonder and at everything. Thank you for the reminder, David.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on A Grateful Man and commented:
    When I read this post it reminded me I should be more like young children: In wonder and at everything.
    With Love,

    Liked by 1 person

  13. tunisiajolyn84 says:

    ❤ this! Beautiful reminder of what's truly essential for our peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love this. It’s what you do here–wake up and wake us up in the midst of your everyday life.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Beautiful words and thoughts…thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person


  1. […] via Monday Morning Wake-Up Call (Draw Water. Carry Wood.) — Live & Learn […]

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