At that time, I’d heard teachers giving Dhamma talks about letting go, letting go, and I still couldn’t make much of it.
Luang Pu Kinaree asked me to sew a set of robes. I went at it flat out. I wanted to get it over and done with quickly. I thought once the task was done, I’d be free of business and be able to get down to some meditation. One day, Luang Pu walked over. I was sewing out in the sun, totally unaware of the heat. I just wanted to get finished so that I could devote myself to meditation.
He asked me what the hurry was. I told him that I wanted to get finished. When he asked me why, I told him that I wanted to practice meditation. Then he asked me what I would do after I’d finished meditating. When I told him, he asked me what I would do after that. I realized that there would be no end to this line of questioning.
Then he said, ‘Don’t you realize that it’s just this sewing that is your meditation. Where are you rushing off to? You’ve already gone wrong. Craving is flooding your head and you’ve no idea that it’s happening.’
Another shaft of light. I’d been sure I was making merit. I’d thought merely doing the job was good enough. I’d get it done quickly and go on to something else. But Luang Pu pointed out my mistake: What was the hurry?
This reflection by Ajahn Chah as recounted by Ajahn Jayasaro is from the book, Stillness Flowing, (pdf) p.74.