I have no time to study this days. Working in finding a work, working in developing my skills as a programmer, working in painting the bathroom, working in samsara.
I say I have no time to study and no time to practice. So when I sit, I'm worried. When I paint, I'm thinking I'd like to be "practising".
Then it happens again. Almost like a patient and compasive friend patting you softly in the back, as to wake you up: I can see the brush in my hand, my hand is white and moving up and down by the wall. There is this quality in the light, I AM PRACTICING. The wall is a book, the chair I'm standing on is my cushion, the bottom of the bucket is my teacher and he asks: "what is your practice?" And my hand answers, up and down, left and right, up and down.
Later, going for a walk, hard walk on the new snow, my nose says thanks to the cold, my chins cry in joy. The bent old tree asks again: "what is your practice?" I turn my head, three swans flying by, and I know I'm practicing, the swans can testify it.
I come home, wonderfully warm, I pick up the Dhammapada because I'm thirsty, as if had been to long away from my lover and I needed a kiss. I open the little book and read:
Those who awaken
Never rest in one place
Like swans they rise,
and leave the lake
Maybe there is no study, but there is practice
All the time