Once a simple householder, I became a Zen lay monk. Somewhere along the way, I found myself once again a simple householder.
Yet, somewhere in the mist between, being a lay ordained Zen monk has never left me. How can vows be left? How can truth be dropped?
After years of life dedicated full time to the path, living in the forest, and the mountains, life still takes the form of a monk's life. I'm nobody. Nothing important can be found here.
Over recent years, I have been called a Zen master by some, but I must point out that if they see such brightness, they simply see their own light, reflected.
I am nothing but a simple unsui, a novice.
Let me always be an unsui.
Let me always have beginner’s mind.
We are all novices.
The greatest masters are the greatest novices.
Even when this truth is unseen, it is here, seeing all.
“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water, after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”
— Zen proverb
Besides it's usage to denote an itinerant novice monk, the meaning of unsui, is “drift like clouds, flow like water” coming from the Ch'an (Zen) tradition.
Don't just carry water, be water, my friend.