Meditation Articles Series

From Meditation Practice to Daily Living Practice

How much thought do you give to what you consider to be the more unimportant things in life?  Or perhaps what is not so important to you?  For a lot of people it would be housework.  I know someone who describes getting it done as quickly as possible so as to get onto more interesting things. 

There’s an old saying, “before enlightenment chopping wood and carrying water, after enlightenment chopping wood and carrying water.”  In other words the so-called mundane things of life go on even if you get the wake up call.  It’s just how we experience them that makes all the difference.

If you have some resistance to housework you could consider turning it into a moving meditation practice.  I know it’s not so easy when you’re under pressure with other commitments like getting the children off to school, and getting to work yourself. 

Taking the opportunity to go on a silent meditation retreat as a support person helped me to understand that each activity I did whether it was cooking the food, or cleaning the bathrooms became an extension of my sitting practice.  The same focus and concentration were there in the menial tasks; the same metta (loving kindness) was there in the caring for the well being of other students.

What would it mean for you if you were to bring more awareness into the “menial” tasks in your life?  Why not experiment with just one task and bring as much awareness into that as you can?

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