Think about all of the moments in your waking existence that bring you closer to that kernel of truth in Buddhism; closer to that moment when you are unequivocally present, with a clear mind and free spirit, open to the world’s messages, but not cluttered with any thoughts or worries, or really with anything much at all. At what junctures in your life are you closest to feeling like you have both feet planted securely on the path towards enlightenment?
We are informed by Buddhist teachings that we should remain mindful during all activities that we undertake, but are there inherently some tasks or moments that plant you in the present more than others? The sneeze, for instance, is a brief period of time when there is an actual decrease in metabolic activity, and so your brain is not working as rapidly as it normally does. Your thoughts literally slow down and you are thrown fully into the here and now. Sewing also requires attention to detail and potentially forces you to focus on the present. What about sweeping or doing the dishes? How about exercising or commuting by way of car or public transportation? Are you closer to the path during these- or certain other- moments than when you are experiencing your regular, multi-tasking, stressed self?
Read about cleaning as an opportunity for practice in “The Dust Beyond The Cushion” in the Fall 2002 issue of Tricycle.
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