When the Zen master attained enlightenment
he wrote the following lines to celebrate it:
“Oh wondrous marvel:
I chop wood!
I draw water from the well!”
After enlightenment nothing really changes. The tree is still a tree; people are just what they were before and so are you. You may continue to be as moody or even-tempered, as wise or foolish. The one difference is that you see things with a different eye. You are more detached from it all now. And your heart is full of wonder.
That is the essence of contemplation: the sense of wonder.
Contemplation is different from ecstasy in that ecstasy leads to withdrawal. The enlightened contemplative continues to chop wood and draw water from the well. Contemplation is different from the perception of beauty in that the perception of beauty (a painting or a sunset) produces aesthetic delight, whereas contemplation produces wonder – no matter what it observes, a sunset or a stone.
This is the prerogative of children. They are so often in a state of wonder. So they easily slip into the Kingdom.
— Anthony de Mello – The Song of the Bird – Pages 16 – 17