I picked up this book at the Spirit Rock bookstore when I took part in Jack's recent daylong retreat. I picked it up and almost couldn't put it down. Jack's books—like his talks—share stories told among the top teachers in that realm. I'll share a few in Mindful Heart over the next few posts.
To begin, here is a story culled from Chapter 14, "Honoring Family Karma" which concerns how family life offers lay practitioners countless opportunities for spiritual realization.
This story comes from a spiritual teacher in the Catholic tradition:
As a young Catholic I was inspired by the saints. I had always wanted to do things like work with Mother Teresa in India, but most of my life has not been so glamorous. After college I became a teacher in an elementary school And then my mother had a stroke and I had to drop out of teaching and help her for two years: bathe her, care for her bedsores, cook, pay the bills, run the house. At times I wanted to complete these responsibilities and get back to my spiritual life. Then one morning it dawned on me—I was doing the work of Mother Teresa, and I was doing it in my own home.
With mindful awareness ordinary tasks done in the service of others can become holy.