An observation upon daily activities
I am not talking about the Spanish appetizers, nor the Filipino method of curing meat. What I want to talk about is meditation and its relationship with day to day activities. I have often thought that meditation was an esoteric concept, done by those whose minds are evolved or have spiritual inclinations. I don’t consider myself to be spiritual in any way. Naturally, I failed miserably when I tried to meditate. My brain wouldn’t focus on a single thought for any amount of time. I tried to count the number of breaths but owing to a few years learning to play tabla (an Indian percussion instrument), I reset my counting after four. Even thinking about past crushes or celebrity fantasies fail after a few seconds. And when I try to write out these seemingly endless supply of thoughts on a paper, it becomes blanker than…….. well, apparently it is blank now.
Day to day activities now:doing dishes, cooking food, dusting the shelves, mopping the floor, washing clothes, ironing clothes, scrubbing the basin, watching T.V, staring at the ceiling, etc. We all know how much we enjoy doing chores. The thrill of knowing exactly what’ll happen next is too much excitement to handle. But when these actions are repeated with deliberate action, with careful intention, with needful diligence, patience & skill, the chores performed as such have the potential to be transformed into prayers.
One might have experienced a sense of ‘zoning out’ when doing the dishes or mopping the floor. The initial disgust or even indifference is replaced by cold consistent action without the thought of result. I haven’t had the displeasure of meeting a skilled mediation master, but I imagine that (s)he would agree with me that meditation is more than sitting still and breathing. It involves on just doing, for lack of a better word. Meditation, for me, is a process of finishing a job and while doing that, finding a piece of you own self. It isn’t just a way of living healthy, it is a way of living. The inner voice which doesn’t seem to shut up, becomes surprisingly silent and much more constructive when given a chance to express all that it needs to.
I know, it sounds all romantic and mystic. It actually is. When cleaning the dishwares (I have made it up just now), moving the lawn or watering the garden, I have experienced a simultaneously a slower and a more detailed passage of time. It isn’t a very ordinary feeling, but can be experienced everyday. The feeling comes and goes with time, but it leaves powerful impressions. The time you are alone with your thoughts brings out all the past hurt, the disappointments, the regrets, the guilt, the anger, the suffering, the familiar feeling of heart break and the feelings of excitement, hope, joy, smiles, tears of joy, the familiar scent of her favourite lip balm, the taste of mom’s food and much more. If you have ever defined yourself by your past, you will have plenty of opportunity to redefine them. You will even have the chance to think about possible future outcomes, reprioritise your priorities, make certain new boundaries and maybe make up your mind if you were indecisive about something.
Granted, this won’t happen in a day. It will take some practice and a whole lotta time. To be brutally honest, it might never work for you. Maybe you weren’t born to do even a single chore. I am not asking you to give it a try. You’ll probably do better under the guidance of a teacher. You might even feel worse for it. We can’t be certain of anything in our chaotic universe. To put it fancily: Ignotum Fatum. But I feel a need to share my views with someone. What is better than doing it sitting behind a computer screen, to potentially thousands of people? (in reality, just 4 or five in case of a good month)
Hope that you will find whatever you are looking for, while I continue to do the same for me.