Embracing the Householder Life

I embrace the life of a householder without aspiring to liberation during this life. Is it even possible to have both the fetters and attachments of daily struggle and expect to be released from samsara in just one lifetime? Or is the desire for immediate release what anchors us deeper and deeper into conceptions like hooks into the flesh. I place little priority on the final result or goals instead preferring to watch and savor each step as I place one foot slowly in front of the other. I release myself from the expectation of awakening in this lifetime and instead engage and internalize the moments that pass…that pass….that pass. While many may be primed for release and liberation like an engine revved and with eyes squinting for the finish; I see each day a moment of this practice where I become more generous, more compassionate and more aware. My engine has cooled like a long distance runner ready for the race; like a man walking…

Liberation is not only found in monasteries, on cushions or in the mastery of metaphysical elements of practice. It is found at the bottom of a sink and in the eyes of a child. It is in the arms of your spouse and in the fists of your enemy. It is the bittersweet tug of memory and the metallic tang of anger. It is both the wind in the trees and the branches that sway in it. Liberation is not apart from the sense world around us. Liberation is the sense world through awakened eyes. The cloudiness of sleep and the haze of tears each a prism focusing the light of experience.

Liberation isn’t possible in this life. Liberation is this life. Liberation is the radical trust in our practice and in this moment…and the next…and the next. That each moment is molded by our delusions, anger and ignorance or fostered through compassion, wisdom and temperance is our practice.

To accept the responsibility is our faith.



9 thoughts on “Embracing the Householder Life

  1. The Zennist does not approve of this post. LOLBut I do! I think the whole point of practice (for me anyway) is IN the working TOWARD enlightenment, not the end result. And without having ultimate liberation in this worldly lifetime as a goal, that’s just one less delusion/obstacle I have. Your writing is becoming more and more poetic. Cheers.

  2. What a fabulous little face 🙂 Yes, yes, and yes to your post! One of my teachers said, “Sadhana is the goal.” Love that, and your embrace of householder practice, so rich and rare . . .

  3. Thanks for the comments. This post just popped out today at work. With another little fetter on the way and increasing responsibility at work, I feel the tug of practice becoming more insistent but easier to ignore with everything evolving around me.Seems time for a reshuffling of priority and a change in focus for my practice.Cheers,JohnBTW: Thanks for being the first two comments on my new blog. Much appreciated.

  4. I am in the same boat. I just do my best at cultivating awareness, mindfulness and skillful means. Some day, the kids will be gone and maybe I can get better at waking up by then?

  5. @spburton: I think children are a wonderful impetus to practice. It provides us with a challenging and evolving medium for our compassion and generosity.

  6. I have nothing constructive to comment, just say that I love your post, thank you for writing it.

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