During my twenty years working for a newspaper, I got in the habit of chanting as I drove the 20 miles home after an evening shift. Twenty years of the Heart Sutra and the Ten Clause Sutra and whatever all else along the darkened highway.
But more than the surprise at such forgetfulness, what really left me wondering was the sense that this was precisely the way things were supposed to work: Practice hard and ... forgetaboutit!
I never chanted again on the way home from work.
And last night, it happened again: Perhaps because it was late and perhaps because I was tired, I climbed into the shower and realized, somewhere between soaping my pits and feet, that I had forgotten to chant, a habit I had followed for years ... the Heart Sutra, various dharanis, etc.
And again, it felt apt and appropriate and naturally lighter ... and vaguely delightful.
It wasn't willful. There was no particular effort at all. I didn't decide not-to-chant. It was if all those chants had decided to go on vacation to Tahiti and lord knew they deserved a respite.
I'm not saying good or bad or do it or don't do it here. Just reporting what happened and wondering vaguely if that isn't some sort of naturally-occurring vein in a disciplined spiritual adventure: After the party, good friends go home.