Live every day like your hair was on fire. -Zen proverb
Monday, April 06, 2009
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.
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.
(PS: You guys are THE BEST!)