“Before illumination: Chop wood and carry water. After illumination: Chop wood and Carry water.”
In Zen Buddhism, everyday work has a high value. Thus we work in the kitchen and in the administration, clean, wash, vacuum, mop, maintain our webpage, and organize meetings. Life at the monastery begins at 5:00 in the morning with meditation and recitation. After our 8:00 breakfast, we have the choice go to our daily work for the Pagoda, meditation or self study. A noontime meal and then to our Pagoda work. Later in the evening we hold our evening classes and meditation, which concludes at 10:00. We work, we meditate and we study. We try not to see these activities as different because the mind follows us wherever we go.
The deep peace of sitting meditation can form the basis for more clarity, and with attention to our feelings, thoughts, actions and structures, we can use all daily activities to develop insight and compassion.