Friday, October 22, 2010

Leave no Trace

"When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself." 
Master Shunryu Suzuki, (1904-1971) came from Japan to the USA in 1959 and popularized Zen in the San Francisco area.
I am not exactly sure what he meant with this, but this is how I would interpret it :  

“If you do something, you might as well do it right, you might as well put your whole being into it. Do it as if your whole life depended on it.”
Okay, it may sound a little excessive. 
Should I do the dishes as if my whole life depended on them ? Maybe not. But I should at least try to do them well. If I get a plate out of the water with a greasy spot on it, then I should use a little more soap to better clean it... I should not just lay it on the draining rack thinking that this is just a little tiny  and unimportant spot, which nobody will see  anyway.

Sometimes, when we do things, we don't do them exactly as well as we should, and we know it, but we think : “Well, this is good enough, this will do”. And it does not. Something happens, and comes back to bite us - or someone else...

No matter what we do or train in, let's put all our heart into it. Let's try to do it right. We should not accept any compromise, we should do it as good as we think it should be done. Just a little less good won't do.

This little Sandpiper puts his heart in his work, and does not worry about anything else. 
He simply does his Bird job and the waves erase his trace. 


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