Chapter 3: Be Quick to Do Good
Don’t make light of your failings. Don’t say, “This is a small thing. Just a small thing can’t be of much consequence.” But drop by drop you can create the whole ocean! The ocean is nothing but an accumulation of drops, so you have to be aware in each single act; in all the details of your life you have to be alert and aware.
Do not belittle your virtues,
saying, “They are nothing.”
A jug fills drop by drop.
So the wise man becomes brimful of virtue.
Remember, life consists of small things, there are no big things. Small things accumulated become big things. A single act may not look very significant either as evil or as good. A single smile may not look very significant, but a single smile is part of a long process. A single flower is not the garland, certainly, but there will be no garland if there are not single flowers put together.
Do not belittle your failures, do not belittle your good acts. Each and every act is significant: if it is bad you are going to suffer; if it is good you are going to enjoy life. And to enjoy life is the only way to know that God is. It is only in blissfulness that the proof comes that God is. There is no logical proof for God, but when you are overflowing with joy, when you can dance with joy, in that dance a gratitude arises on its own accord. A thankfulness, a prayer, is born, and in that prayer you are reborn. In that prayer not only are you reborn, God is born too.
Life consists of small things, and you have to transform each small thing through your awareness, watchfulness, alertness, into a beautiful act. Then ordinary things can become extraordinary.
A Zen monk was asked, “What did you use to do before you became enlightened?”
He said, “I used to chop wood and carry water from the well.”
And then he was asked, “What do you do now you have become enlightened?”
He said, “I chop wood and carry water from the well.”
The questioner was puzzled. He said, “There seems to be no difference then.”
The master said, “The difference is in me. The difference is not in my acts, the difference is in me - but because I have changed, all my acts have changed. Their significance has changed: the prose has become poetry, the stones have become sermons, and matter has completely disappeared. Now there is only God and nothing else. Life now is liberation to me, it is nirvana.”
Enough for today.