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Live every day like your hair was on fire. -Zen proverb

Monday, April 06, 2009

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My father's health has taken a downturn this past week and our family has had to begin the real sad discussion about his wishes if/when he passes away. He's a very tough old 76-year old bird who wants to die on his own terms at home.

In addition, my family is preparing for Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread which begins this week. Part of the preparation is physically removing all of the leavening products out of our home. Leavening (baking soda/powder, yeast, etc.) "puffs up" bread, just as our sins of vanity/pride etc. puffs us up spiritually. So my family is also examining our life this past year and trying to identify the things in our lives that we have overcome and improved upon; as well as those things that are dragging us down and in need of improvement.

Needless to say I have been crying & praying, laughing and praising at various times this past week. But my heart hasn't been 100% at peace. So on one of my diversionary trips on the internet (to avoid house cleaning & the gym) I thought I'd check out various proverbs about life and death from a Zen perspective, and ran across the following Zen proverb:

LIVE EVERY DAY LIKE YOUR HAIR WAS ON FIRE.

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My first thought is, Hmmmm, this does not sound like a very peaceful way to live.

My next thought is IF my hair was on fire- I would be running and jumping in the back yard pool as fast as I could to get my hair soaking wet. So is one interpretation of this proverb is I need to run, jump and stay wet (does sweating count)???

I'm still puzzled by the deeper meaning of this Zen proverb, and would love to hear other views and opinions about it.
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(PS: You guys are THE BEST!)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SPARKLOVE
    If your hair was on fire, you would not be sitting still. Live everyday active.
    Get excited about your life !

    emoticon Joy
    2950 days ago
  • SHININGSOUL
    I am glad to hear your dad is coming home/already home from hospital.
    I really like your description, I certainly would be jumping around, and having alot more energy!
    2967 days ago
  • CRYSTALINA04
    I want to wish you the best in this week. I am sad to hear abour your fathers health.


    I will hold you in my thoughts and hope you the best week you can have.

    I think the proverb is funny. I never wish my hair was on fire, but thinking in that manner sure makes you want to run to extinguish it. HA HA HA.


    2972 days ago
  • DLDAY08
    Just want you to know that you and your family are in my prayers. I am also preparing for Passover. I will pray that your family has a blessed and peaceful Passover and Unleaven Bread feast. Know that you are thought of on a daily basis.

    Diane emoticon
    2973 days ago
  • DEEGIRL50
    Appreciate your hair while you have it. You could lose it any day.
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    Tell your father you love him! My father passed away in January and I wish I could say those words to him every day.

    Thank you for sharing some of your traditions with us.
    Very interesting.
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    2973 days ago
  • POSITIVELY_EB
    You, your father, and family are in my prayers!

    Hugs! Beverly
    2974 days ago
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