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A young student of Zen came upon a chapter in his reading that talked about how a cat must be tied up before the meditation ritual could begin. Confused, he sought an explanation.
Long ago, the Zen master told him, a spiritual teacher was about to begin his evening meditation with his pupils when a cat who lived in the monastery started to howl outside the door. Its howling was so distracting that the teacher ordered the cat to be tied up. After the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during a meditation session. Then, after the cat died, another cat was obtained so that it, too, could be tied up during meditation. Tying up a cat, the Zen master explained, had simply become part of the ritual. “But it serves no purpose,” the young student pointed out. “You are right,” said the Zen master and immediately tore the chapter out of the meditation book.
“Ritual will always mean throwing away something”….~ G.K. Chesterton ~
If a routine or habitual way of doing something in your life is no longer helping you, it may be time to get rid of it. You can replace it with a beneficial habit, or simply let it go.
I will hold on to those routines and habits that help me.
Excerpt from Morning Light – Amy E. Dean
© 2011 by Hazelden Foundation
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